News: 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 181 Chemical Company host Boy Scouts
Story by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah
By by Pfc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
FORT HOOD, Texas - Boy Scout Troops from Dallas and Garland, Texas, were hosted by the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the 181st Chemical Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, III Corps during their visit to Fort Hood, Jan. 16 -18.
The scouts, from troops 876 out of Carrollton, Texas, and 1989 out of Garland, Texas, arrived at Fort Hood the evening of Jan. 16 to a Soldiers welcome. They were issued barracks, bunks, and linen.
The next day, Jan. 17, the scouts had an early start. They joined their military counterparts for physical training before breakfast.
"They did not warn us about P.T., I got woken up by the sergeant very violently," said Tate Ingram, an 8th grader from Scout Troop 876, "When they started doing [P.T.] I thought it was kind of ridiculous, but it really worked, I felt my muscles burning after awhile."
While the scouts were surprised at the early wake-up, they were pleased, once the shock wore off.
"I really like the wake-up call," said Matt Chambers, a boy scout from Troop 1989, "It got me up and running, out of that daze I'm usually in when I wake-up."
Following P.T. the scouts loaded up on the bus for movement to Howze Theater for a meeting the Brig. Gen. Mark McDonald, deputy commander, III Corps. McDonald answered questions for the troops on a wide variety of topics and spoke about the military in general. Following the briefing the troopers headed to the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.
"We wanted to give the scouts something exciting, something engaging to do while they're here at Fort Hood," said former boy scout 1st Lt. Evan Shawver, officer in charge of the event and platoon leader, 2nd Platoon, 181st Chem. Co., 2nd Chem. Bn. "At the same time we want them to learn something by peaking their interest."
Upon their arrival at the Air Cav's hanger, the Boy Scouts stood in formation to listen to a briefing from an Apache pilot.
"Earning my Eagle Scout was the best thing I ever did," said Maj. R.J. Garcia, operations officer, Attack Bn., 1st Cav. Div., "It laid the foundation for everything else I've accomplished in my life, from college, to the Army, to being a pilot."
Once inside, the scouts had the chance to explore every inch of the AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter and they learned the ins and outs of the chopper from the pilots themselves.
"Seeing those Apache's was amazing," said Chambers, "They were immaculate."
The pilots attempted to put their complex job in terms the scouts could understand.
"Who here has driven in a car at night with the lights off and one eye closed?" said Lt. Col. Randall Haws, commander, 4 – 227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. "Well I hope not!" Haws exclaimed when several scouts and scout leaders raised their hands.
Following the Apache tour the scouts had an Army-style MRE lunch with Soldiers from the 181st Chem. Co. at the 1st Cavalry Division's Horse Detachment.
"The key aspect today is the opportunity for the Boy Scouts to interact with the Soldiers and learn about citizenship," said Maj. Randall T. Campbell, deputy intelligence officer, 13th ESC. "Citizenship plays a key role in throughout their lives."
The Boy Scouts were then given a tour of the stables before moving on to the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. At the museum they learned the history of America's First Team and saw the hardware of the military from the beginning of the Army to the model's of tanks, trucks, and other vehicles in use today.
"I can see the extreme advancement of technology compared to when I was in the Army," said World War II veteran Hal Gelden, whose daughter is a Boy Scout troop leader. "I can see the youngsters are extremely excited and it's amazing to see the level of caring an interest exhibited by the Soldiers."
During their visit the Boy Scouts also had the opportunity to get some hands on training with night vision goggles and learned Army land navigation techniques at North Fort Hood training areas.
"These type of events help them understand what we do and help us reach out to the community," said Shawver. "I have fond memories of being a boy scout and I'm happy to bring this experience to them."