KILLEEN, Texas (2/3/2012) – Soldiers of the 13th Financial
Management Center usually focus their attention on resource
management and finance operations, but Feb. 2 they had the
opportunity to step in as teachers and road guards while
assisting their sponsored school, Ira Cross Elementary in
A soldier from the 13th Financial Management Command passes out class work while filling in as a substitute teacher at Ira Cross Elementary School in Killeen, Texas on Feb. 3,
2012. Photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kucera
During the annual Rotary Breakfast Day held at the school,
approximately three dozen 13th FMC soldiers supervised and taught
children and acted as road guards, under the strict supervision of
teacher's aides, while the regular teachers attended a breakfast and
The event was just one of many the 13th FMC
assisted the school with. “The soldiers are mentors here, they're
also tutors, and many come at least once a week”, said Kalili
Stanton, parent liaison and volunteer coordinator at the school.
They also come in annually for this special event and take over the
classroom as a substitute. “They help the kids in the classrooms
with projects, but it's also good for the kids with deployed parents
to see the uniform,” she added.
Master Sgt. Gregory Perry, a
financial management technician, was one of the participants in the
event. He is a parent of
a 12-year-old daughter and is all for supporting the school. He
thought stepping in as teachers and interacting with the students
will be an interesting experience for most of his young soldiers,
who do not yet have any children of their own.
While 4th grade teacher Ashley Coots gave Staff Sgt. Ren
Viray, also a soldier with the 13th FMC, the rundown on the
morning lesson plan, several other troops from 13th FMC ran
familiar traffic control points, or road guards in
elementary school terms.
As parents approached the
various intersections surrounding the campus, seeing a
soldier in uniform holding a stop sign rather than the
familiar crossing guard, took some by pleasant surprise.
Many parents stopped to say good morning to the soldiers
while entering and leaving the school parking lot.
Col. Archie Davis, 13th FMC director, said visiting the
school benefits the community, the school itself, but more
importantly benefits the kids. “I think it's very imperative
to continue to do what we can to assist our kids to insure
they have an opportunity to receive a good education. And
just being present, in uniform, reminds them of their mother
or father, who may be downrange”, said Davis.
thinks that participating in school sponsorship events
should be mandatory, “it's the right thing to do. As much as
the communities support the Army and the installation, we
have an obligation and moral right to give back.”
teachers and students also take this special day to give a
‘thank you' to the local businesses and their sponsoring
Fort Hood unit for the time and donations they give
throughout the year. Many of the soldiers continue to
maintain presence on the campus, whether through mentoring
the young students through school work and sports, or even
planting shrubs and pulling weeds.
Perry would like
to see a spring clean up and maybe running a morning
physical fitness session for the students, as part of the
unit's future sponsorship events.
More photos available below
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kucera
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
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