POZAN, Poland -- 1st Infantry Division Forward hosted children here from a local orphanage for a partial tour of the base, as well as a meet and greet with Soldiers on Jan. 30, 2020.
"The kids have a break in school, and this is a great way to occupy their time for a day," said Pola Kasprzak, a counselor with the orphanage. "They have been very excited for this trip since we told them about it."
Army Staff Sgt. Brock Webb, staff operations non-commissioned Officer with 1 ID FWD, was there to greet the children at the gate to begin their tour of the base.
"Today is a day dedicated to interacting with these local children, and allowing them to see what equipment we use," said Webb. "Basically a day for them to see what a Soldier is living like in Poznan."
The beginning of the tour included a class taught by Webb, as well as hands-on learning where they to tried on different parts of a uniform.
The next part of the tour included more hands-on activities. The kids were able to see military vehicles like the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle.
The tour concluded at the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation center. Here, the kids interacted with Soldiers as well as play games like Ping-Pong and Foosball.
Events like these are vital in maintaining a strong bond between United States Soldiers and the international communities where they live and work.
"The kids had a great time," said Kasprzak. "We hope to be able to do something like this again."
It was apparent that by the end of the day, the kids were much more comfortable with the Soldiers, playing games, and taking pictures with them. A theme that many Soldiers, including Staff Sgt. Webb would like to see go beyond the base and into the community.
"Events like this help people in the community know that we're here to help," said Webb. "At the end of the day, we're just like they are."