By Clarence Davis III, Fort BlissDecember 15, 2008
FORT BLISS, Texas--Eight Soldiers assigned to William Beaumont Army Medical Center shared their military experiences and a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 20 with students from La Union Elementary School.
During the visit, the students were afforded the opportunity to ask questions about the military and training requirements to do their jobs. La Union Elementary School Principal Cissy M. Andreas said the students enjoy hosting Soldiers, who also visited the school for Veterans Day last month and Thanksgiving last year.
"The students really enjoyed their company, so we decided to invite them for the Thanksgiving meal with us," said Andreas. "During each visit, [the] Soldiers were generous in their attention to the students. It is important for the students to know of the sacrifices Soldiers make to keep us safe."
The Soldiers were thanked face-to-face for their sacrifices.
"In response, Soldiers attending were able to reach out and thank a very supportive community," said 1st Lt. Mark P. Brown, adjutant for Troop Command, WBAMC. "Our visit enabled children to interact with Soldiers and share their ambitions with them.
"Their questions were boundless because of the students' expansive imaginations," added Brown. "Also, many children who participated have relatives in the military or were entertaining enlisting in the military."
"This visit helps to put the military role in perspective with the rest of society," said Staff Sgt. Juan C. Ordaz, noncommissioned officer in charge of WBAMC's Pediatrics and Adolescent Clinic. "We explained that our job specialties coincide with occupations seen within the local community. I am from this area, and it's great to be among them even though several of their questions surprised me."
"It was a pleasure to host these men and women, especially during these times of war when many of them are so far away from their families," said Andreas. "This meal is a celebration of thanks, and this is our way of showing Soldiers how much we appreciate their service."
In addition to inviting local military units to visit the school, the school has adopted a company of Soldiers servicing in Iraq. Each class has an individual Solider assigned for care.