News: Spartans march to Santa’s Workshop
By 1st Lt. Marco Andrade
2nd BSTB, 2nd BCT, 1st Cavalry Division
FORT HOOD, Texas - When soldiers return from deployment, there are usually any number of things they are eager to do, from sleeping in their own comfortable beds to playing with their children or grabbing a bite at their favorite restaurant.
But the Soldiers of the Special Troops Battalion “Spartans,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division returned from a four-month deployment to Afghanistan Nov. 29 with something else on their minds.
More than 410 Spartan soldiers gathered on Black Jack Field to road march to the 1st Cavalry Division Museum to donate toys to Santa’s Workshop, which provides toys for children of Fort Hood families in need.
This tradition is important to the Spartan Battalion and reflects the family-friendly atmosphere that exists in the 2nd BSTB, said Lt. Col. Archie Herndon, the battalion commander.
In the initial planning of the event, only the rear detachment personnel were expected to participate, but when the battalion received orders to redeploy, the Spartans quickly adjusted the plan.
Soldiers wore Santa hats and rucksacks decorated with Christmas ornaments and began their journey at 6:30 a.m. The cold temperature did not dampen festive spirits as soldiers and families talked excitedly about the presents that they brought.
The Spartan Command Team led the road march down Battalion Avenue with soldiers singing carols and wishing passers-by a happy holiday season - eager to drop the toys off and make a difference in the lives of others.
Herndon and the battalion command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Roderick Jones led the charge to the tree personally thanking the troops as they entered the museum with their gifts.
“Taking care of family is what the Army is about, and the Army is a family,” said Herndon.