SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii- With the occasional ringing of a school bell echoing throughout the campus of Leilehua High School (Mighty Mules), fifteen Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment (Wolfhounds), 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division along with three civilian engineers laid and paved a cement walk way to provide a dry path to the school's media room, Apr. 16.
During their recent yearlong deployment to Iraq, the Wolfhound Soldiers were no strangers to the local Iraqi schools in their area of operation. Leaders provided financial aid and the manpower of Soldiers to help build and enhance many school facilities.
Here in Hawaii, the unit continued that same spirit of giving and building by continuing their local partnership with Leilehua, a school outside of the Schofield barracks base.
The process began with Wolfhounds and Leilehua school officials sitting down and discussing potential projects that could be started on the campus. The initial project that was presented was having a concrete lane built for the school's media room.
The previous pathway of the media room, which was made of dirt and grass, created difficulties in transporting heavy objects that could only be carried on dollies and trucks. The path, when saturated by rain, gave visitors and students alike muddy feet that was tracked into the classroom. These problems, according to Sara Scoville and Johanna Macedon both seniors at the school, revealed the need for the new pathway to be built.
"We have a lot of things we have to on wheels in our media production class but having all the grass that was there prevented us from getting our equipment into our classroom; having the Soldiers here to create this walk way helps us and really means a lot to our class," said Scoville.
The Soldiers along with the engineers relentlessly carried wheel barrels full of wet cement to the final destination site of the walkway. As light rain fell, the Soldiers followed the lead of the veteran engineers who showed them how to even the cement out with wooden planks and by stepping and sloshing the material by boot into place.
Scoville and Macedon explained that seeing the Soldiers on their campus gave them the opportunity to really see what the United States Army does for the local communities outside of their bases.
"Having the Soldiers doing this job rather than just regular construction workers means more because it shows that they are thinking of us and are concerned about helping the community. It also gave us a better understanding on who the Soldiers are and what they are about," said Scoville.
According to 1st Lt. Anthony Arellano the officer in charge of the construction, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 27th Inf., Regt., he explained the importance of branching out to the local community and complimented the success of the event.
"We are here to build relationships. With Schofield barracks having everything Soldiers need right on the base, we really don't ever have to leave post, but we are a part of this community and this has been an excellent way to show that we are connected to our neighbors," he said.