JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — The students at Briscoe Elementary School received a special surprise as Soldiers and civilians from the 187th Medical Battalion distributed school supplies to 315 students and families on Aug. 11, 2023. This year the battalion was joined by the members of the Royal Arch Masons, Texas who donated backpacks for the students.
Families arrived at the school where they were greeted by the 187th Medical Battalion Command Team Lt. Col. Sean Riley and Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Conn who welcomed the students. After receiving new backpacks the students went to the school cafeteria where battalion Soldiers and civilians helped them fill their backpacks with school supplies. Afterwards the students and their parents visited with their classroom teachers.
The school supply drive was organized by the battalion Operations Assistant Lorraine Harper, who worked with the Briscoe staff to identify the most needed supplies. The average household income of the parents in Briscoe Elementary School area is below that of the city average. These school supplies make a real difference to the families.
“Because of this, students and their families can enjoy coming back to school and not be burdened with the cost of supplies,” said Jennifer Emerson, Briscoe Elementary School Principal.
Lt. Col. Sean Riley, commander of the 187th Medical Battalion, shared his thoughts on the event. “For us to give back to the community is such a blessing and an honor,” said Riley. “The passion and energy we have is a testament to how much we care about the Adopt-A-School program. We’re absolutely honored.”
When Clifford Massey heard about the school supply drive, he worked with fellow members of the Royal Arch Masons to donate supplies for the students. For Massey, a retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergent who served 30 years, donating to Briscoe is a continuation of his commitment to community service. “We have a mason member that is also part of the battalion who told us there was a need for backpacks,” said Massey. “Being a military citizen, having the opportunity to give back is an obligation. We feel blessed just to be a part of this with the 187th Medical Battalion. That’s what we do, disperse charity within our community, across Texas and especially in the San Antonio area.”
The battalion also formally resigned their commitment to Briscoe by renewing their charter as part of the Fort Sam Houston, Joint Base San Antonio an Adopt-A-School program. The 187th Medical Battalion sponsors Briscoe Elementary as part of the Adopt-a-School Program. In past years, the battalion Soldiers and civilians have organized numerous fund raisers and holiday toy drives. Beyond the many fundraisers, the 187th Medical Battalion Soldiers also serve as examples of excellence for the students.