By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderMay 1, 2014
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (May 1, 2014) -- Hundreds of students from Fort Jackson schools visited the post's Basic Combat Training Museum last week as part of Month of the Military Child activities.
April was designated the Month of the Military Child in 1986 as a means to recognize the contributions that military children make as their parents serve the nation. Last Friday, these children toured the museum to gain a better understanding of the jobs their parents are doing.
"We're engaging Soldiers with their children today," said Henry Howe, director of the Basic Combat Training Museum. "We're emptying the two elementary schools here on Fort Jackson of all the kids, and we're bringing them out one grade level at a time. They'll tour through the museum, get some drill and ceremony training, and also get some hands-on time with vehicles."
Staff Sgt. Timothy Roddmann, 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), was among the Soldiers tasked with showing students drill and ceremony commands. The biggest surprise, he said, was their enthusiasm for pushups.
"The kids love pushups," he said. "We wanted to give them a little feel for the Army, and they're pretty motivated."
Among the students visiting the museum last week was the 6-year-old son of Sgt. 1st Class Cory Meyer, 193rd Infantry Brigade. Meyer was also part of the team leading last week's tour.
"The (students are) excited," he said. "They love the equipment. Kids absorb quite a bit. For a lot of them, it's the first time they get to see what mom and dad do, so for them to be able to correlate tangible objects with what their parents do is important."
His own son got to see much of this equipment during Meyer's previous assignment at Fort Stewart, Georgia, he said, but it didn't dampen his enthusiasm for the day's activities.
"He's just as excited as the rest of them," Meyer said. "They think it's pretty cool to be able to climb up in the vehicles and see what mom and dad do."
After devoting so much time to planning the annual event, Howe said it was gratifying to see the students engage in the day's demonstrations.
"I find it really exciting," Howe said. "When the kindergarteners come off the bus, your first thought is, 'Wow, they are really young.' But they get engaged very quickly. With drill and ceremony, they're very excited to learn how to march, how to salute, to do the Army stuff."