News: ‘Vanguards’ show Brittin students what the Army is all about
FORT STEWART, Ga. – The children gathered around the weapon that surely could only exist in the movies.
The .50 caliber machine gun, which stretched out before them, was longer than they were tall. The girls and boys took turns pressing the butterfly trigger and attempting to pull the charging handle.
Pfc. Steve M. Espina, an infantryman with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, asked the children how many of them eat their vegetables. The children’s hands shot into the air in response.
“You have to eat a lot of vegetables to move that [charging handle],” the Savannah, Ga., native told them.
Espina was one of more than 40 soldiers from 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt., to put the tools of his trade on display during a career day presentation for students at Brittin Elementary, May 9, on Fort Stewart, Ga.
With the help of a military policeman from Fort Stewart’s garrison force and several soldiers from the 766th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment, the “Vanguard” battalion amassed on the school’s playground area to show Brittin’s students the various occupational specialties that exist in the Army—from infantrymen and mechanics to truck drivers and military intelligence specialists.
Sgt. 1st Class Mark A. Zimmerman, the operations sergeant major for 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt., spearheaded the planning and organization of the static displays and various stations. He said the intent was to show the youth that while the Army is a weapon and a tool, the soldiers do a lot more than go to war.
Pfc. Steve S. James, a signal support systems specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt., was one of several soldiers who taught the children how to communicate using military radios. The children took turns conducting communications checks, using call signs from popular movies and children’s television programs.
“We kind of take it for granted what we do every day [and] forget how fun it could be,” said James. “I think it’s good letting all the kids come out and interact … and know what we do other than just seeing us on the road passing by.”
The Largo, Fla., native said he enjoyed teaching the kids about his job.
Sgt. Justin M. Meiers, an indirect fire infantryman with HHC, 3rd Bn., 7th Inf. Regt., had a similar take.
“My favorite part is giving the children the opportunity to see what their parents do,” the Medina, N.Y., native said. “Some kids [with military parents] have no idea what their parents do—they think it’s all shooting—but in all actuality there are a lot of other things that go on.”
Date Posted:05.15.2012 15:13
Location:FORT STEWART, GA, US
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