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    Spearhead Soldiers clean up Oak Grove Upper Elementary

    Spearhead Soldiers clean up Oak Grove Upper Elementary

    Photo By Sgt. Roger Houghton | Staff Sgt. Rico Frisbie, an Observer, Coach/Trainer assigned to the 177th Armored...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Roger Houghton 

    First Army

    Cpt. Kyle Hatch, the commander of the Spearhead Brigade’s Headquarters Company, reached out to the staff of the Oak Grove Upper Elementary School to ask if his Soldiers could be of any help.

    Among the thriving plants at the front entrance of the school, some bushes weren't so fortunate, and had died in the harsh Mississippi climate. Also, rainwater had stained the building's brick exterior.

    Seizing the opportunity to lend a hand, Hatch enlisted the help of his company to join him in tidying up the school's facade on October 23, 2019.

    Hatch's children are two of the numerous students whose parents serve in the 177th Armored Brigade on Camp Shelby. His commitment to the community extends beyond his service to the United States.

    “We get out and make relationships with people inside the community and let them know that we care as Soldiers,” said Hatch. “We need their support just like they need our support.”

    Soldiers of the 177th Armored Brigade rely on the local area's resources and organizations. Camp Shelby is primarily an Army National Guard base, and doesn’t have the facilities to fully accommodate an active duty unit. Whenever they have the time available, however, they make sure to give back to the Pine Belt community wherever they are needed.

    Made apparent by the countless thanks from school employees, the work done by the crew of Spearhead Soldiers was much appreciated.

    Amy Massey, the fourth and fifth grade interventionist at OGUE, walked the Soldiers through what needed to be trimmed, cut, cleaned, or removed outright from the areas around the main entrance.

    “We need all the support we can get, said Massey. “It’s getting harder and harder to have people that volunteer at the schools, so we’re thrilled.”

    One of Oak Grove Upper Elementary School’s biggest priorities for the school year is to instill the concept of service within their students.

    “When you have members of the community that already have roles, like a Soldier or a policeman, and the kids are able to see them on campus, I feel like that’s a huge influence for them,” said Massey. “To have a positive role-model doing something as an act of service for them, it motivates Students to do that for other people.”

    Lydia Marrero, an Agricultural Art teacher, recently received a grant from Mississippi State University which funds programs that use ‘microgreens’ to promote healthy eating. In the process of learning about planting seeds and tending to plants, Marrero’s students learn about service by pulling weeds.

    “As you become an adult, you’ll do more service than you ever had as a child,” said Marrero. “It builds such great character and makes you a better person. Anything to do with service is good for the kids to see.”

    Marrero teaches her class to most of the students at OGUE. Her hope is that the military children in her class know that they can lean on her for comfort or advice, because she too has been through the challenges of military life.

    Her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Brad Marrero, recently returned home from a deployment to Kuwait with the 184th Sustainment Command, Mississippi National Guard. He previously worked at the Mobilization and Annual Training Equipment Site at Camp Shelby for about 12 years.

    “Having a presence is important,” said Marrerro. “I like for all of my students to know that the freedoms that we have are because of y’all.”



    Date Taken: 10.23.2019
    Date Posted: 10.30.2019 12:11
    Story ID: 349251
    Location: MS, US

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