FORT KNOX, Ky. - Ten Soldiers from Fort Knox's 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) shared their deployment experiences with cadets from North Bullitt High School's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps during a community outreach event held Thursday, April 15.

During the event, 3d ESC Soldiers who deployed with the unit earlier this year to Haiti, spoke to the JROTC students about their experiences in the earthquake ravaged nation and Army life in general.

Eager to hear what Haiti was like, and what a Soldier's daily life is like, the cadets were very receptive to the Sustainers' stories.

"It was an honor and privilege to be able to speak with the cadets at North Bullitt High School," said Sgt. George Hernandez, a 3d ESC help desk noncommissioned officer and San Angelo, Tx. native. "I really think we were able to shine a light on our deployment to Haiti and our daily experiences as Soldiers."

Hernandez explained that he wanted to give an accurate account of Haiti's destruction, as well as stress the importance of his job in the unit's mission there.

According to the school's JROTC instructors, students are often under the impression that all Soldiers have jobs pertaining to combat arms and conduct field operations year round. But, the 3d ESC's Soldiers were able to dispel that notion with their visit.

"Not only did we want the cadets to learn about Haiti and what went on there, we also want them to know what a Soldier's life is like at home, and when deployed," said 1st Sgt.(Ret.) Mark Firestone, NBHS Army instructor and Shepherdsville, Ky. resident. "Our students are often under the impression that Soldiers live in the field their whole careers. So this helped them understand the life of a Soldier better."

During their visit, Soldiers presented students a slide show containing photos from the 3d ESC's deployment to Haiti, answered questions about Haiti and their experiences, and stressed the importance of education and its relevance to the Army. The instructors explained that students sometime believe that his/her education is not relevant to the military.

Having the 3d ESC Soldiers speak to the students brought them to the reality that what they learn in school is often applied to military life, said Maj. (Ret.) Kevin Clark, NBHS senior Army instructor. Clark used his military experiences during the presentations to explain the importance of education throughout his career.

Overall, the students were very receptive to the information presented by the Soldiers. While some had an understanding of what Soldiers do on a daily basis, others came away more educated about Army life.

"I was very appreciative of the information presented today by our visiting Soldiers," said Allison Underwood, the NBHS JROTC battalion commander and cadet lieutenant colonel. "While I don't have plans to join the Army, I understand better now that it is not all about fighting and Soldiers have many different jobs that they perform."

This community outreach event was the second to NBHS for the 3d ESC. Command Sgt. Maj. Willie Tennant, 3d ESC senior enlisted leader, was the guest speaker during the school's 2009 Veteran's Day observance.

Story and photos by Sgt. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
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