Students’ WAAF tour includes PT, DFAC lunch, jaunt at aviation unit

| November 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
Sgt. 1st Class Emilio Calzada (top right), NCOIC, Operations Directorate, 599th Trans. Bde., leads second-graders from Wahiawa's Kaala Elementary School in Army-style physical training at WAAF’s gym, Nov. 8, as part of a community relations event between the 599th Trans. Bde., the school, and the 25th CAB, 25th ID.

Sgt. 1st Class Emilio Calzada (top right), NCOIC, Operations Directorate, 599th Trans. Bde., leads second-graders from Wahiawa's Kaala Elementary School in Army-style physical training at WAAF’s gym, Nov. 8, as part of a community relations event between the 599th Trans. Bde., the school, and the 25th CAB, 25th ID.

Story and Photo by
Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Though rain held off under darkening skies, the airfield, here, was still happily engulfed by a deluge of children, Nov. 8.

The 599th Transportation Brigade and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, hosted 67 second-graders from Kaala Elementary School in Wahiawa.

Second-grade teacher Alison Calzada said she wanted to show students an Army post and have them meet with Soldiers in time for Veterans Day. Although the school is only about a mile from Wheeler’s main gate, most of the students had never been on post before, she said.

“We’d been talking in class about the helicopters for weeks, so when we came through the gate and they finally got to see them, the children were so excited they all started screaming,” she said.

The day started with physical training, or PT. Calzada’s husband, Sgt. 1st Class Emilio Calzada, noncommissioned officer in charge, Operations Directorate, 599th Trans. Bde., led the students into WAAF’s gym.

“The kids love to shout out the count like Soldiers do during PT,” Sgt. 1st Class Calzada said. “That’s always the first thing I teach them. We did the normal things – jumping jacks, pushups, sit ups and flutter kicks – with them yelling off the count louder than most Soldiers do. Because they were in the gym, we had them race while dribbling basketballs.”

While one group of second-graders exercised, the other group went to the 25th CAB’s dining facility to help make the lunch they would eat later that day. The DFAC provided them all with paper chef’s hats to wear during their time in the kitchen.

“This is great to have the little kids here,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nathaniel Barthell, manager, DFAC, 25th CAB. “We’ve had high school students, but this is the first time since I’ve been here that we’ve hosted elementary school students.”

After lunch, students met with the brigade’s Quick Reaction Force to see its equipment and then with helicopter crews to tour helicopters.

Alison Calzada said the students were still excited about their experiences after returning to school. As they were writing thank you notes to the units, they mentioned all facets of the visit as some of their favorite memories, she said.

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Category: Army Community Covenant, Community, Community Relations

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