By Todd Martin
Formalizing a partnership already bearing fruit, soldiers, students and educators gathered Friday at the front of Manor Middle School to unveil a new sign of a strong friendship.
Lt. Col. Sidney Cobb, commander of the Public Health Activity on Fort Hood and Manor Principal Jennifer Washington agreed the adoptive relationship between unit and school is already closely knit.
At the edge of the school on W.S. Young Drive, school and unit leaders joined student Ram Ambassadors in removing a black cloth to reveal the school's identification with the specialized unit within the Fort Hood Adopt-A-School program.
The Public Health Activity is a tenant of Fort Hood with soldiers serving in veterinary fields, working with detection canines and performing food inspection missions.
"Community involvement is important and something we want to push out to soldiers," Cobb said, explaining that he was quick to sign the unit up for the adopt-a-school program when he found out about it.
"We're looking forward to forging ahead with this," he said. Already, volunteer soldiers have participated in a Veterans Day hallway parade and helped chaperone a school dance and a field trip.
"The kids feel secure with soldiers in the building," Washington said. "They know it's a friendly person."
She said the adoptive soldiers assisted with acclimating new sixth-graders at the start of the school year and they haven't let up.
She said the soldiers, with their science-related missions, will likely be asked to share their knowledge in classes.
"We want to be a positive role model," Cobb said. "We want them to see us beyond the uniform and we want to help where we can."
"I think it's cool," said Manor eighth-grader Juan Perez, one of the small contingent of students taking part in the sign unveiling. He said his older brother is a soldier.
"We feel safer when they are here," he said. "They are inspirational to us."
March 9, 2018