By Staff Sgt. Joe Armas, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. PAOApril 18, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas - Some were dressed as doctors, others as construction workers, and a select few were in their military attire.
As they marched in formation with a suspect Army cadence, students from Tyler Elementary School, in Belton, Texas, suddenly broke out into a dashing sprint as they approached the static display of a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
The day served as an opportunity for the Soldiers to show the students the ins and outs of the helicopter and also elaborate on the opportunities that a career in Army aviation can provide.
For one kindergartener, the career day experience served as confirmation for what he already had made up in his mind.
"When I'm a grown up, I want to be an Army man and I would like to fly a helicopter," said a confident six-year old Kade Hayes.
Hayes also said he thought it was 'really cool' that he had the opportunity be this close to an actual Army helicopter and talk to the pilots.
Throughout the morning, Hayes, along with his fellow students, had the opportunity to enter the aircraft, try on oversized flight helmets, and sit where the pilots and crew chiefs normally do.
This was a great opportunity for the Soldiers to interact with the students, and it was great to see how much fun the students had, said Spc. Melissa Platt, a motor pool dispatcher, assigned to Company E, TF Spearhead, 1st ACB, from Wausau, Wis.
Moreover, the career day event was a continuation of the partnership between TF Spearhead and the school. Soldiers from E Co. come to Tyler Elementary on a normal basis and interact with the students through mentorship programs, according to 1st Lt. Lakito Bynum, of Charleston, Miss., a maintenance platoon leader withTF Spearhead, 1st ACB.
The Soldiers have also conducted physical training sessions with the students and taught them basic drill and ceremony, he added.
The school's principal, Calvin Itz, talked about the importance of E Co.'s presence during career day and on other occasions as well.
"The students get so excited when the Soldiers come to our school," he said.
Itz noted that he believes events like these allow the students to garner an interest in the military and at the same time help forge that partnership between the military and the local community.