SALINA, Kan. - A soldier from Company A, 601st Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division visited Grace E. Stewart Elementary School in Salina, Kan., to speak with a second grade student Jan. 16
Pfc. Jacob Carreon, an automated supply specialist, made the trip to the school to follow up with his new friend, Angel Lira, age 7, a student in the second grade at the school. The two met when Carreon’s unit visited the school in early January as part of the Adopt-A-School program.
Carreon said that as he waited for the partnership activities to begin that day he noticed that Lira had devices in his ears. Carreon had seen these before on his own cousin, who is deaf. Carreon had learned sign language in school in order to be able to talk to his cousin and began to use those skills with Lira. The two spent the rest of the day together, communicating via sign language.
“We just went on and on,” the soldier said. “I asked if he had any brothers, what sports he played and if he liked to go outside.”
Carreon and Lira became fast friends, taking a picture together during lunch on the first day they met.
“I like to talk about sign language and the soldiers,” Lira said, referring to what he likes to discuss when he meets someone who knows sign language.
Carreon said that he also taught Lira some learning “tricks” that allow the little boy to use his hands as memory cues for math. Carreon learned a lot from speaking in sign language with his cousin, which he passed on Lira.
“I got to know a lot,” Carreon said.
Company A, 601 ASB plans to continue their monthly visits to the school, and Carreon said he looks forward to visiting his friend again soon.