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    Cub Scouts explore Camp Bondsteel

    Cub Scouts explore Camp Bondsteel

    Photo By Sgt. Lynnwood Thomas | U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Eissler, explosive ordnance disposal technician, Task...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Lynnwood Thomas 

    40th Public Affairs Detachment

    CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty.”

    Cub Scouts and parents from Pack 2008 attended a tour of Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo March 1, and explored the similarities between themselves and the soldiers of Regional Command-East, KFOR 26.

    Capt. Shawn Thomas, officer in charge of TF MED veterinary services, is a cub master in Baumholder, Germany and organized the event to continue his service to the Boy Scouts of America while he is away from home.

    “I was involved with scouts my entire life,” he said. “I’m involved with it again now that I have my own children. When I got deployed here, I reached out to the cub master here to see if there was anything I could do to help engage with [them], and he indicated that they would love to get a tour of Camp Bondsteel.”

    TF MED took the scouts through the hospital’s emergency room, operating rooms and veterinary services area. The kids were allowed to get an inside view of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter with TF Medevac. TF MP conducted a military working dog demonstration and allowed the scouts to turn on sirens and speak over the MP vehicles’ intercom systems.

    When they arrived at TF EOD, technicians allowed the scouts to drive robots, use detection equipment and see examples of various ordnance encountered during missions. The tour ended with a meal in the Camp Bondsteel dining facility, and a visit from Col. Robert Hughes and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Mechkowski, the Regional Command-East’s command team.

    Thomas said the standards he established in scouts have stood the test of time, and apply to his military service as well.

    “Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts really informed my values as a man,” Thomas said. “That gets you a long way in the military because all the values are the same: honor, respect, integrity, all of those things. I carry them with me every step of the way.”

    According to Cub Master Todd Kirkbride, Pack 2008 is comprised of students from three different schools, but is open to youth of all ages throughout the region of Kosovo.

    “A number of our families are American diplomats,” he said. “The exciting thing about us is that within our pack alone we have about 15 different countries represented, so to come here…was really exciting for all the families to see the troops.”

    Kirkbride explained that the visit to Camp Bondsteel helps the scouts accomplish several of their badges and awards. He said the scouts’ excitement had been building for weeks and he saw an opportunity for his pack to uncover the similarities between scouts and Soldiers.

    “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent, and I think that every one of those embodies the skills and qualities of Soldiers,” he said. “This is the first time they’ve been able to be around Soldiers, interact with them and ask questions to see them as being real people rather than just a version that they see on TV or in their video games.”

    Sgt. Jacob Chappell, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with TF EOD, greeted the scouts in a bomb suit and fielded an array of questions from scouts and their parents. Chappell is an eagle scout and jumped at the opportunity to impact a new generation of scouts as they toured Camp Bondsteel.

    “I’m glad that I was able to give back to scouting what scouting gave to me,” he said. “You get to learn a lot of different skills: knot tying, outdoor skills, and first aid. When I was a scout, I was able to go on a marine base and try different things that you can do in the military. As a young kid it’s something you remember.”

    Cub Master Kirkbride said he and all of the parents of Pack 2008 are grateful to KFOR and RC-E for the opportunity. He said coming to Camp Bondsteel and interacting with Soldiers has the potential to affect his pack well into the future.

    “I think for several of them it will help certain aspirations, he said. “Whether becoming a doctor, working as a veterinarian or at a kennel; we saw components of things here that are related to day-to-day life. I think it is inspirational. This to [the kids] is also just very cool. They like being a part of something that they can talk about with their friends.”



    Date Taken: 03.01.2020
    Date Posted: 03.17.2020 10:22
    Story ID: 365351
    Location: CAMP BONSTEEL, ZZ

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