By Staff Sgt. Nathan Hoskins, 1st ACB PAO, 1st Cav. Div.September 14, 2010
KILLEEN, Texas - Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, took part in a patriotic adopt-a-school event with the children and faculty of Trimmier Elementary School, Sept. 10.
In an effort to reach out to the local community, Soldiers from 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, attended Trimmier Elementary's 9/11 remembrance ceremony and annual Freedom Walk.
The morning's events included multiple presentations and songs by the schools choir, an essay contest, a flag folding demonstration, and remarks by guest speaker, Maj. Dan Legereit, from Metropolis, Ill., the executive officer for 4-227th.
Legereit spoke to the students about the meaning of freedom and encouraged them to interact during his presentation.
"They understand what freedom means. They truly ... understand their choice for education and religion and the freedoms that they have," said Legereit. "They seem very, very gracious to have that freedom."
The faculty found the presentations by the Soldiers inspiring and worthwhile.
"It was great to have Maj. Dan Legereit out there. He was very interactive with the crowd. The kids really liked ... the interaction with him," said Daniel Helvetius Jr., a counselor for Trimmier Elementary School.
"And the flag-folding ceremony was awesome. I've never seen kids participate in it like that," he added.
The mass of children waved small flags throughout the morning activities - including a parade-like walk around the school - complete with banners - while chanting slogans of freedom.
Red, white and blue saturated the event, along with smiles and laughter from the students, faculty and Soldiers.
This demonstration of patriotism impressed Legereit, making him feel comfortable about the nation's future.
"I think it shows that the next generation of our country is in good hands. They're being brought up the way they need to to carry on the freedoms we hold dear," said Legereit.
With such a close, military-based community in Killeen, 4-227th and Trimmier Elementary School look forward to many more events like this, said Helvetius.
"There is a lot of patriotism and a lot of love here and a lot of cooperation between the unit and us to do more events," he said.