By Spc. Monica Smith, CAB Public AffairsOctober 10, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- The experienced crew chief raises his voice to be heard over the chatter of the students flowing into the auditorium for the Military Career Day at the Beaufort-Jasper County Academy for Career Excellence.
With 19 years in the Army and 13 of those years as a crew chief, Staff Sgt. Vernon McNabb, a crew chief and standardization instructor with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, easily speaks about his job with familiarity and knowledge.
"I go in and tell kids why I like doing what I do," said McNabb. "I take all my gear there and tell them how cool aviation is," McNabb said with a laugh. "It's super easy because it's what my job requires me to do - talk to people. I give classes anywhere from a group of five to 50 people."
Today McNabb speaks to students, grades 9-12, informing them about what he considers non-traditional Army jobs.
"There are so many jobs that aren't highlighted in the military as opposed to the ones you see in commercials all the time," said McNabb. "Like being a pilot as opposed to being a crew chief. There are so many jobs in the Army now that they don't make commercials for, or they aren't in the spotlight, so this is how we get the word out to the civilians."
Along with McNabb, the Combat Aviation Brigade sent Sgt. Tyshone Overton and Sgt. Cedric Dupins, both transportation operators and members of Company A, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion.
These two Soldiers brought with them a truck that is able to load pallets onto itself, called a "palletized loading system."
"We went for a kind of show and talked to the high school students and give them a better view of the Army and some of our equipment," said Dupins from Cairo, Ga. "It's important because they can actually hear from a person that is in the Army, that's been deployed, instead of listening to what people say that are not in the Army or have never been deployed."
That experience is what McNabb says he wants to share with students who may be interested in joining the Armed Forces.
"We want to show them that everything is not like they see in the movies where it's all blood and guts and then afterward they all go have a beer at the local pub," said McNabb.
"It's not all grits and gravy. It's not all bad either. You have really good days and really bad days. But if at the end of the day you can put your bird away to fly another day, it was a good day in combat. That's what we want them to know."