Team-building event offers Paxico Middle School kids opportunity to test limits
Spc. Richard Bingham, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, teaches a student from Paxico’s Mill Creek Valley Middle School how to aim down the barrel of an M249B Squad Automatic Machine Gun during the school’s visit with Fort Riley Soldiers from the 541st CSSB, 84th EOD, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment and 97th Military Police Battalion during a community team-building event held April 29 at the Pacesetters Field. Photo by: Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Torres-Cortes, 1ST SUST. BDE.
Story by: Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Torres-Cortes
1ST SUST. BDE. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Children from a local Kansas middle school prepared all week to climb a 10-foot wall, hold a M4A2 Carbine rifle and watch a demonstration with explosive ordnance disposal unit and military working dogs with 1st Infantry Division Soldiers cheering them on.
Students from Paxico's Mill Creek Valley Middle School visited Fort Riley Soldiers from the 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade; 84th Explosive Ordnance Battalion, 1st Sust. Bde.; 2nd Battalion, 34 Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team; and 97th Military Police Battalion during a community team-building event April 29 at the Pacesetters Field.
"I grew up in a small town in Arkansas, similar to Paxico," said Lt. Col. William Cain Jr., commander, 541st CSSB. "Today you will be Soldiers, doing things that Soldiers do, which requires hard work, dedication and determination, but with that you can accomplish anything you want in life."
After the students recited the oath of enlistment for the day, they shouted out a loud "HOOAH!" to celebrate their field day.
"They have been excited to be here all week," said Cleion Morton, principal, Mill Creek Valley Middle School. "This provides an excellent opportunity for the students to see how Soldiers work and train to defend our freedoms."
The students seemed to take each task and event with enthusiasm and excitement. As they climbed up the flat wood wall, they assisted each other as a team to accomplish the task.
"I see these students taking advantage of this opportunity," said Rosalie Wike, library and school technician, Mill Creek Valley Middle School. "I know this will teach them responsibility and discipline, and by taking the Oath of Enlistment, they are proud being with these Soldiers today."
As students were able to pass the obstacle course with the support from their fellow friends, they had an opportunity to see up close an M1A2 Abrams tank, M250-caliber machine gun, MWD demonstrations and an EOD robot demonstration.
"This is a great community event we can have with these students," said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Saucier, 97th MP Bn. "The children can gain an understanding of our capabilities to help support them in any situation in which they need us."
Soldiers who spent time with the children throughout the day also said they enjoyed the interaction.
"We've had a lot of fun today, and I'm happy that they are here and they are very interested and involved in what we do," said Spc. Sean Rinebold, tank driver, 2nd Bn., 34th Armor Regt. "I'm glad we had this opportunity to give them a better understanding of how things work and what we do on a daily basis."
Students also said they appreciated the event.
"I like that we got the chance to do something different and fun through our school day," said Tanner Clark, 13, seventh-grader. "I enjoyed the guns up close and learning how to properly be safe and handle the obstacle courses and march in formation. It was a good day."