News: ‘Gunfighters’ take part in Wamego tradition
Story by Sgt. Keven Parry
WAMEGO, Kan. - Seven soldiers with the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, visited West Elementary School Sept. 20 as part of the adopt-a-school partnership between the battalion and the school.
The soldiers supported the West Elementary Fall Carnival, an annual event at the school that has become a tradition in Wamego, Amy Flinn, building principal for West Elementary in United School District 320, said.
“It’s just a great way to connect and support one another,” she said.
“It’s good to just work with kids,” Pvt. Kailon Jackson, a small engine and wheeled vehicle mechanic with Company E, and Jefferson, Ga., native, said. “It’s a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed myself out here.”
The soldiers worked to set up activities before the carnival. During the event, they assisted with several of the games and booths.
Spc. Cooper Hall, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with Company F and Ellensburg, Wash., native, said he had a good time interacting with the children, many of whom don’t have opportunities to interact with soldiers outside of the partnership program.
“It’s really kind of fun to help out with the kids,” he said.
Assisting with community events is a way for the soldiers to feel a stronger bond with the regions around Fort Riley. Service members often feel a desire to support the local population.
“It’s the best. It just shows you what we’re all about,” Pfc. Alec Moriarty, an unmanned aerial vehicle operator with Co. F and Las Vegas native said. “Being part of the community is better than anything.”
The event was a great way to build a partnership between community and the military, Flinn said.
Flinn, who was the principal of West Elementary when the partnership between the unit and the school began, said 1st ARB has supported events at the school since 2010, with soldiers participating in a variety of things such as the fifth grade end-of-the-year celebration, school play days, lunch time and recess time.
“I’m grateful to Fort Riley for promoting this Adopt-a-School program,” she said.