Story and Photo by
Spc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
WAIALUA — Donned in the Army physical training uniform, Soldiers from the 558th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, raced Waialua Elementary School students during the school’s Fun Run, here, March 28.
The event helped raise funds for a better school campus and taught children the importance of physical fitness.
With a large percentage of students on subsidized school lunches and the school lacking the funds to hire a physical education teacher, the Army’s commitment to the school, through the school partnership program, provides a solid rock that the school knows it can count on.
“The Soldiers make a large impact with the children here,” said Scott Moore, principal, Waialua Elementary School, adding that Soldiers give “the children role models.”
The influence of the Soldiers shows, not just on the faces of the children when running side by side with a real-life Soldier, but in the classroom.
Moore hopes to continue the partnership between the 558th MP Co.
“It’s a special thing to have someone from the military to come here; it spurs them on and leaves a lasting memory of fun and fitness,” said Moore.
The first year the school partnered with the 558th MP Co., it won the Hawaii Blue Ribbon award through the Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program, which honors elementary and secondary schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap, or whose students achieve at the highest levels.
This year the school won the National Blue Ribbon Award, the highest academic award an economically disadvantaged school can receive.
As the Fun Run wore on, Soldiers who thought they would teach the kids physical fitness took a lesson in tenacity from their tiny counterparts as dozens of laps and jumps took their toll.
Though beads of sweat rolled off Soldiers’ faces, they were proud of helping the children.
“Being out there and motivating the kids and showing the local community we care is an unbeatable experience,” said Sgt. Chance Jackowski, 558th MP Co.