News: 2-12 FA color guard, students salute end of school year
Story by Spc. William Howard
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Children sang the national anthem while the color guard saluted with a crowd of parents during the graduation of kindergarten and fifth-grade students at Bricker Elementary School, May 22.
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, have provided tutoring, athletic coaches, static displays and assistance at large functions at the school for more than three years.
“The partnership with the battalion has been very beneficial for students because they get to see adults that are great role models on a monthly basis,” said Katrina Hanger, fourth-grade teacher, Bricker Elementary School. “They respect the Soldiers a lot.”
Pvt. Matthew McCrimmon, field artillery automated tactical data system specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 12th FA Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division, said he was afraid to talk to Soldiers when he was a kid.
“I think it’s good for us to interact with the kids and their parents to show that we know how to have fun and that we’re people just like them,” said McCrimmon. “We’re giving them someone to look up to and showing them that Soldiers are friendly and approachable.”
Hanger said that she’s witnessed the positive impact from the Soldiers presence at the school since she began teaching there more than three years ago.
“The students act more appropriately when the Soldiers are around,” said Hanger. “We’ve seen a lot of positive behavior changes on the playground and in the hallways.”
Spc. Tony Rivas, petroleum supply specialist, Battery F, 2nd Battalion, 12th FA Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division, said the students are very curious about the Soldiers and often approach them about their jobs.
“The students get to see that we’re people too; they talk to us and ask us what we do,” said Rivas. “A lot of the students say they want to become Soldiers.”
The partnership between the school and the battalion represents one of many within the community and Hanger said she believes it offers a look at an exciting future career for the students.
“I really appreciate all of the work the Soldiers do at the school, and our kids really enjoy having them here,” said Hanger. “It’s a great opportunity for them to see what careers the Army has to offer.”