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Soldiers, Students Visit City of Rocks
by Army Sgt. Michael Armstrong - June 12, 2012

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FAYWOOD, N.M. (6/5/2012) - Soldiers of Fort Bliss chaperoned more than 100 El Paso students to the City of Rocks State Park in N.M., May 29, for a day of learning away from the walls of a classroom. The trip was part of a continuing effort to volunteer in the El Paso community through the Partnership in Education Program.

May 29, 2012 - City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico is the site for a field trip made possible due to the continuing effort to volunteer at local schools in El Paso through Fort Bliss' Partnership in Education program. Soldiers assigned to 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and teachers from Rio Bravo Elementary School made this trip a success for the entire eighth grade students. Photo by Army Sgt. Michael Armstrong
May 29, 2012 - City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico is the site for a field trip made possible due to the continuing effort to volunteer at local schools in El Paso through Fort Bliss' Partnership in Education program. Soldiers assigned to 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and teachers from Rio Bravo Elementary School made this trip a success for the entire eighth grade students. Photo by Army Sgt. Michael Armstrong

Soldiers assigned to the 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, assisted the teachers and faculty of Rio Bravo Middle School in organizing the trip for the school's eighth grade class.

The group traveled more than two hours by bus to the park to get a chance to explore the incredible rock formation that resembles a small city with houses, courtyards and streets. Some also explored the park's botanical garden. Park Rangers were on hand to give classes on the history of the park and a tour for the students.

The trip was a way of saying goodbye to the 8th grade students before the school year ended and they move on to high school.

“We didn't have enough staff to go on the trip,” said Ricardo Lomeli, the projects coordinator at Rio Bravo. “We asked the soldiers to help and they were more than willing to give us the extra guys to make this possible.”

Lomeli went on to explain that the school provides opportunities for the students to interact with people and places outsides of their comfort zone of El Paso.

“Our unit adopted Rio Bravo last year,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Vance, Rear Detachment command sergeant major, 125th BSB. “Our soldiers have been involved with health fairs, career days and pretty much anything the school needs.”

“The soldiers jump at the chance to come support the school whenever possible,” Vance stated. “It's a way we can get beyond Fort Bliss and have an impact in the community.”

Entering its 23rd year, the PIE program offers a means in which soldiers can become an asset for the community by providing mentorship, taking time to tutor students and by assisting in planning and sponsoring events.

By Army Sgt. Michael Armstrong
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2012

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