Brave Rifles from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment were formally recognized recently by the City of Harker Heights for providing water buffalo support during the winter storm that hit Texas in February.
The City of Harker Heights presented Troopers from Blacksmith Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd CR, with an award on March 9 during a city council meeting. The Certificate of Appreciation read, “To Blacksmith Troop for their invaluable service and support to the citizens of Harker Heights during the February 2021 Severe Winter Storms that impacted our entire community,” Michael Blomquist, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Harker Heights, Texas.
Tasked with providing water support to the City of Harker Heights, 1st Lt. Mario Bibbins, a 91A, Ordnance Officer from Smithfield, Virginia, and his team, Staff Sgt. Alexandria Day and Sgt. Brandon Oneil took great pride in supporting the community during recovery from the winter storm in February. Following the storm, many people experienced frozen or broken pipes and were without water in their homes. For over a week, the Troopers maintained the water buffalos to provide potable drinking water to the community.
Bibbins said this was one of his first missions working directly with civilians in the local community, and his team was excited to give back to those who live in Harker Heights.
“Usually, we are working in the field and doing maintenance. I was excited to have the opportunity when my commander asked me and giving back. This mission is the first time I have been able to work on the plan to support civilians and let them know we care. It was great to see civilians come by and have a water source,” he said. “Our mission was to give back to our community and the area supporting Fort Hood. I always believe that you are a Soldier inside the uniform and outside the uniform in the Army.”
Sgt. Day is from Albany, Georgia, and a 91F Small Fire Arms and Artillery Repairer.
“I live in Harker Heights and was having to boil water,” she said. “It was good to be able to give back to my neighbors and to the community where I live. It feels good to give back to more people than just those that I live around.”
Sgt. Oneil, id 94A Land Combat Electronic Missile Systems Repairman and is from Summerfield, Florida.
“It was great to be out and supporting the community,” Oneil said. “Being on a federal installation, we have water, and this is a great opportunity to support the community and give back.”
Bibbins said that this mission would be one that he never forgets.