News: Sustainers Give Back at Pierce Elementary Winter Fest
Story by Staff Sgt. Rob Strain
FORT KNOX, Ky. – About 25 soldiers from the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) volunteered their time, Dec. 2, at Pierce Elementary School’s Winter Festival here.
The Sustainers provided support by setting up, operating and tearing down the festival’s games, such as football, basketball, bowling, and a cake walk, a game, similar to musical chairs, in which the winner gets a cake. One soldier dressed as Santa and posed for photos with the kids.
For many of the soldiers, volunteering at the school was a way to give back to the school and the community.
“It’s a great opportunity to show them how much we care,” said Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Loos, a maintenance management non-commissioned officer with the 3d ESC.
Sgt. 1st Class Loos, a Brandenburg, Ky., resident, said his daughter attended Pierce Elementary School when he lived on Fort Knox, so volunteering at the school was especially important to him, even though he has since moved off post.
The community supports soldiers, both here in Kentucky and while deployed, so it is important to give something back, Sgt. 1st Class Loos explained.
Staff Sgt. Jacinta Bonner, the school liaison and a transportation control NCO with the 3d ESC, said the school and the 3d ESC have been partners since before the unit’s deployment to Iraq in 2008.
Staff Sgt. Bonner, a Newport, Ky., native, explained each unit on Fort Knox sponsors a school as a way to help out within the community.
“The benefit of sponsoring Pierce Elementary is that we build a good relationship with the school, the children in the area, and we give back to the community,” Staff Sgt. Bonner said.
Additionally, the partnership benefits the Soldiers, because they get to do more than just go to work.
“As soldiers, we do more than our jobs,” Staff Sgt. Bonner said. “We’re helping people.”
The kids get to see the soldiers in a different light as well, Staff Sgt. Bonner said.
“We’re not just soldiers,” Staff Sgt. Bonner explained. “We actually can play with them, interact with them and hopefully be role models.”