Story and photos by Sgt. Steven Galimore
19th Public Affairs Detachment
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The acting Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy, and U.S. Senator for Kansas, Jerry Moran, visited Seitz Elementary School, 1st Infantry Division Headquarters and hosted a re-enlistment ceremony on Fort Riley, Kan., Sept. 5, 2019 to gain awareness of Fort Riley capabilities and status.
During their one-day tour, they met with Jodi Testa, Seitz Elementary School principal, senior leaders and Soldiers assigned to the 1st Inf. Div., and Fort Riley.
"While Seitz Elementary School is a beautiful building, and named after an honorable, highly respected general, what we saw today was students who are receiving an education here and the benefits that are occurring to them and their future," Moran said. "In addition to the school, there's been $1.8 billion dollars spent on Fort Riley -- in housing, in schools, in a new hospital since 2006 -- all designed to make Fort Riley, a place that has a bright future. A place that servicemen and women who want to serve and to make certain that our military leaders understand the asset that Fort Riley is to the nation."
The dedication of Seitz Elementary School took place Sept. 14, 2012, as a tribute to retired Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz of Junction City, Kan. Seitz was chosen for his commitment and support to the education of all Geary County Schools Unified School District 475 students.
During the tour of the school, McCarthy, who helped raise funds for the building project, asked students, and faculty members, if they needed tools to be successful.
"There's nothing more important than protecting Army families," McCarthy said. "We recruit Soldiers -- but we retain families. To have a facility as beautiful as this and to see happy children (with) motivated teachers, [who] are the future and the strength of the families of our Army."
After the tour at Seitz, McCarthy and Moran attended a round table discussion with senior leaders of the 1st Inf. Div., and held a re-enlistment ceremony for nine soldiers in front of the Big Red One headquarters.
After the ceremony, McCarthy presented coins to each of the re-enlistees and met with their families before departing Fort Riley.
"It was a surreal moment," said Staff Sgt. David Gonzalez, 287th Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion. "It was an honor to meet him."