CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (Jan. 15, 2013) -- Horns honked, sirens wailed and on the loudspeakers of armored vehicles you hear voices, voices of children.
Boy Scouts of Troop 965 in Kuwait received a unique opportunity to visit Camp Arifjan, Jan. 12, 2013, and explore mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles with Soldiers of the 47th Transportation Company, deployed from Fort Bliss, Texas.
The Boy Scout troop is comprised of expatriates located in Kuwait. The troop's council is coordinated through Direct Service and administered by the International Department of the Boy Scouts of America.
Staff Sgt. Pascual Romero, a squad leader with 47th, gave the Scouts an initial tour of the trucks and their features. Romero said the experience was certainly different while being deployed, but was happy to show the Scouts around.
"As a noncommissioned officer in the Army, you have to take pride in your equipment," said Romero, a Strawn, Texas, resident. "I enjoy any opportunity to show off our equipment and teach kids about the trucks."
Mike Buist, a parent of scout Ryan Buist, originally from New Zealand, said this opportunity was unique and gives the Scouts a glimpse of the military beyond what they would normally experience.
"What a lot of the Scouts is about is taking young guys and teaching them the principles of being young men," said Buist. "It shows what loyalty, espirt de corps, commitment are all about. For the younger guys it's not so much about inculcating a desire to join the military, but a lot of the principles that are associated behind that are developed in these young guys."
Mike's son Ryan said he enjoyed his experience on Camp Arifjan with the trucks.
"It's been really, really fun," said Ryan, 14. "We got to crawl all over the vehicles, sit in the driver's seat, play with all of the controls, sit in the gunner's seat and spin around. That was cool."
Capt. Clifford Houde, 3rd Medical Command Headquarters Company commander, is leading the Scout project for Camp Arifjan. Houde said their team is in the process of assisting the Scouts obtain merit badges as part of their program.
"It's really good for the Army to give back to the community," said Houde. "It's good for the Scouts because there aren't many resources for them to obtain badges here in Kuwait."