‘Lifeline’ Soldiers visit local school, share stories
Soldiers with the 299th BSB say goodbye to Enterprise Elementary School students Dec. 9 at the end of the unit’s visit to the school.
Story by: Capt. Jacqueline Ralston
299th BSB, 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div.
Redeployed Soldiers with the 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, paid a visit to students at Enterprise Elementary School Dec. 9 to thank dozens of children who spent the past year sending letters and art down range.
During the daylong visit, the "Lifeline" Battalion Soldiers showed pictures from Iraq, helped students try on Soldier gear and answered questions about the deployment. Students learned about basic Soldiering skills, including how to salute, stand at the position of attention and how to properly perform pushups and sit ups.
"I am so glad we have a partnership with the 299th BSB," said third-grade teacher Nicole Demars. "The students always look forward to their visits, (and) they were very excited to learn about the tour in Iraq."
The 299th BSB established a partnership with the elementary school in the summer 2010, shortly before the unit's Soldiers left for a yearlong deployment to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn.
In the months before the deployment, Soldiers from the battalion painted the school's playground and donated sports equipment to use during recess and physical education. During the deployment, the students returned the kindness and sent artwork and letters of encouragement to the Soldiers in Iraq.
"I liked it when the Soldiers showed us pictures and when they (let us) put on their helmets and bullet proof vests," said third-grade student Kyler Welling.
Following the presentations and a short recess, the Soldiers participated in the school's "Freak Out Friday" event, which rewards students with zero late assignments. The theme for the event focused on the Christmas season, and students and Soldiers enjoyed Christmas ornament and candy cane relay races.
"The students really enjoyed having the Soldiers join them for Freak Out Friday," Demars said. "It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to spend time with the Soldiers. They are great role models and heroes to our kids."