Posted Date: 07/12/2021
COPPERAS COVE, TX (June 16, 2021)—“Awww! Ohhh!” Students at Martin Walker Elementary vocalized their excitement as the lights were turned out in the school cafeteria during their lunch period. Then, they began cracking chemical lights donated by their Fort Hood adopted unit, the 91st Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division to provide a green glow in which to enjoy lunch.
The Lights Out Lunch to conserve energy is just one of the initiatives of the Fort Hood Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program in which Martin Walker students participated with the help of their adopted unit.
“Due to COVID-19, our school has had much stricter protocols where the soldiers were unable to volunteer on campus,” Parent Outreach Coordinator Susan McGuire said. “We were, however, able to plan virtual events such as 9/11 activities, soldiers reading stories to students, and traveling with each other’s items that included a banner from the school and a t-shirt from the unit to maintain the partnership.”
The unit filled the gift needs of students at Christmas and helped beautify the school with a trash collection with students at the end of the school year. The joint effort between the school and its adopted unit earned the two entities the Fort Hood Adopt-A-School Program Partnership of the Year Award.
McGuire was also named the Fort Hood Adopt-A-School Program School Point of Contact of the Year and her unit contact, Captain Madison Petry, received the Fort Hood Adopt-A-School Program Unit Point of Contact of the Year Award.
“Our point of contact has gone above and beyond, giving not only her time but also part of her heart to our students as well as the community it serves. She has been consistent, always connected, and has never failed to follow through,” McGuire said, referring to Petry. “Our point of contact was charged with maintaining connectivity between the two organizations and she has definitely over delivered.”
Not knowing that McGuire was nominating her for the unit POC award, Petry nominated McGuire for school POC of the year honors.
“(McGuire) supported Fort Hood by creating an environment that allowed soldiers to have a positive impact on students’ lives, which led to the soldiers feeling fulfilled in their work,” Petry said. “The morale of the unit increased drastically, no doubt due to the several opportunities that the School POC facilitated for the soldiers to have a meaningful impact within the community and outside the confines of the military installation.”
Within the Fort Hood Adopt-A-School Program, 117 schools in nine school districts partner with 86 military units to serve thousands of students.