TEMPLE, Texas — Soldiers from the 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 1st Med. Brigade, partnered with their Adopt-a-School Fred W. Edwards Academy Sept. 11.The Adopt-a-School program gives Soldiers the opportunity to connect with local schools, host activities and provide mentorship to students.  It also helps Soldiers connect with the community around Fort Hood.Adopt-a-School liaisons Maj. Brent Beadle, 1st Med. Bde., and 1st Lt. Javonte Davis, 581st Medical Company Area Support, were made aware that Fred W. Edwards Academy didn’t have an American or Texas flag to fly over their campus for the upcoming school year, and their outdoor eating area had several picnic tables in disarray.In order to help fix the problem, Beadle contacted the Temple Chamber of Commerce and State Representative Hugh Shine to coordinate obtaining a Texas flag that flew over the state capitol in Austin, while Congressman John Carter’s office worked on helping to obtain an American flag.The Temple Chamber of Commerce also coordinated with Lowes to donate three picnic tables to refurbish the outdoor eating area for students.The outdoor area is also a place where Soldiers can interact with students.“Every second Friday of the month, we plan on going to Edwards Academy to provide mentorship to the youth that are planning their futures,” Davis said.  “We also hold a Q&A with Soldiers so that they can ask any questions about military service and any other life skills that they need assistance with.”The flags and picnic tables were presented during a ceremony and volunteers from the 61st MMB taught students how to fold and raise the American and Texas flags.“The flag ceremony was a good opportunity to teach them the history of the flag and proper respect for it,” Davis explained.  “The overall day was a success in connecting with the students of Edwards Academy and we look forward to all future engagements.”The 61st MMB Commander, Lt. Col. Nicole C. Spears, had only positive things to say about the program.“One of our main missions as a medical battalion is to partner with the community and nothing is more rewarding than working with our youth,” Spears said.  “It also provides opportunities for Soldiers to mentor these students and provide good examples of what they can be when they grow up.  We have meetings with the principal of Edwards Academy in the future and have plans to make sure this is one of the battalion’s main efforts.”61st MMB is dedicated to the service of the local community and interacting with them. There will be more events to come with Fred W. Edwards Academy as well as other schools in the area.