SAMC Soldiers donate clothing to local school
Sgt. Edward A. Garibay,
16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment:
With the start of the new school year, students of Bowie High School in El Paso will have hundreds of military uniforms for their Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, courtesy of the Soldiers of Fort Bliss and the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, a group of noncommissioned officers that volunteers frequently in the community.
Instead of wearing blue jeans and T-shirts, JROTC students got to use more than 400 military clothing articles donated Aug. 29 for field trips and other events, which will help teach them leadership skills and other tasks commonly performed by Soldiers.
“They get a great sense of pride and feel like they belong to something special when they get to wear the uniform,” said retired Sgt. 1st Class Rickey Green, assistant JROTC instructor at Bowie HS.
Although JROTC mimics the Army and teaches Soldiering skills, its main purpose is not to bring students into the military. Its goal is to develop character, leadership and discipline through the core values of the Army: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
“For a lot of these kids, it’s their first year [in JROTC],” said Sgt. 1st Class Willie Henard, one of the SAMC Soldiers who arranged the donation of clothes. “If they see that we’ve got Soldiers that come down and help the program and tell a little story, it gives them a sense of hope for the future that they don’t feel like they have to become another statistic.”
Henard, a native of El Paso, said helping out the local area and speaking with its teenagers has a special significance to him. He worked for weeks collecting donations from across Fort Bliss with a particularly large donation from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
“It’s all about trying to give back to those that are less fortunate,” said Henard. “The [Sergeant] Audie Murphy Club, we just want to give to try and alleviate some of the cost for these kids. We’ll definitely be back.”
To learn more about JROTC, visit www.usarmyjrotc.com.
For more information about SAMC or to recommend a volunteer event, visit www.Facebook.com/BlissSAMC.
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