325th Mustangs have a ‘blast’ with local students

| November 4, 2016 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Christopher Rivera, behavioral health specialist assigned to Company C, 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, speaks to a fourth grade class at Wahiawa Elementary School in Wahiawa, Hawaii, on Oct. 19, 2016. Rivera is part of the ÒMeet a SoldierÓ program to talk about the U.S. Army to local Hawaii students and discuss what he personally does with the 325th BSB. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Christopher Rivera, behavioral health specialist assigned to Co. C, 325th BSB, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, speaks to a fourth grade class at Wahiawa Elementary School in Wahiawa, on Oct. 19. Rivera is part of the “Meet a Soldier” program to talk about the U.S. Army to local Hawaii students and discuss what he personally does with the 325th BSB.

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division
WAHIAWA — Soldiers assigned to the 325th Brigade Support Battalion, “Mustangs,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, met and spoke with fourth grade students at Wahiawa Elementary School, here, Oct. 19.

The 325th BSB and Wahiawa Elementary are part of an established partnership between the two entities known as the “Partnership of Ohana.”

Talk story
Each year, the Mustangs and the school conduct several events to bridge the civilian-military divide, to give a chance for Soldiers and school children to interact with each other, and to conduct community service.

“I talked about my experience in the military as far as my career, what basic training is like and any questions (they had) for me after that,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Rivera, a behavioral health specialist assigned to Company C, 325th BSB.

“I have a kid myself, and I was always concerned whether or not they would have a good role model growing up, so I always wanted to better myself,” Rivera said. “I always wanted to be a good role model for all kids.”

Rivera explained to the students briefly what he did as a behavioral health specialist and answered several questions about his military experiences.
One of the students asked Rivera if it was scary being in the Army.

“The Army is not a scary place,” he answered. “For the most part, you rely on your team to get through some of those tough moments.”
He also answered student questions about his time overseas and about his combat experiences in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Brian McCord, weapons repairer assigned to Company B, 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, lines up a fourth grade students at Wahiawa Elementary School in Wahiawa, Hawaii, on Oct. 19, 2016. McCord is part of the ÒMeet a SoldierÓ program to talk about the U.S. Army to local Hawaii students and discuss what he personally does with the 325th BSB. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Brian McCord, weapons repairer assigned to Co. B, 325th BSB, lines up a fourth grade students at Wahiawa Elementary School.

Staff Sgt. Brian McCord, a weapons repairer assigned to Co. B, 325th BSB, spoke to another fourth grade class the same day.

“I spoke to the children about entering into the military, life in the military and different jobs that they have, and just how great the military is and the great things you can do for the military,” McCord said.

During his time with the students, he explained his job as a weapons repairer for his unit and about basic military topics, such as marching, how Soldiers interact with each other on a daily basis and how the students’ physical education is similar to the Army’s morning physical fitness training.

A student in the class asked him about drill sergeants during Army basic training.

“What they teach you is discipline,” he said. “It’s like organized camping, marching and using weapons.”

He went on to explain to the students how a Soldier overcomes his or her fears during training.

“The first time I went up in a helicopter … I was so scared,” he said. “I thought nobody can see this big guy cry. I was tough about it and got used to it.”
McCord engaged the students about how – by getting a few students standing up in a line – a Soldier would handle basic training, get chow in a dining facility and sit and stand in unison when a drill sergeant may command it.

The students giggled and seemed to enjoy this type of easy-to-understand interaction.

Staff Sgt. Christopher Rivera, behavioral health specialist assigned to Company C, 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, answers a question from a fourth grade student on what his job is like in the Army at Wahiawa Elementary School in Wahiawa, Hawaii, on Oct. 19, 2016. Rivera is part of the ÒMeet a SoldierÓ program to talk about the U.S. Army to local Hawaii students and discuss what he personally does with the 325th BSB. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Both the Soldiers and Wahiawa Elementary students had a blast during their time together and plan to continue with monthly events throughout the remainder of the year.

McCord stated he loved talking to the students and sharing his experiences afterwards.

“You see their minds start wandering, and they want to ask a lot of questions, so you just let them,” McCord said. “You keep opening the door for them, and the more they get interested, the more likely they are to come into the military.”

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Category: Community, Education

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