Elementary schoolchildren visit Guard's Cape armory

Monday, November 23, 2009
Sgt. 1st Class Terry Dambauch gives elementary students from Marquand a tour of the motor pool.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The little boy, right arm rocketed skyward, looked serious as he waited for his turn to ask a question of the man in uniform.

Finally, 1st Sgt. Haskel "Woody" Rooker called on the fidgety 5-year-old.

"Do you have rocket launchers?" the boy asked, causing several of the teachers, parents and full-time Missouri National Guard Soldiers to chuckle.

Quite a few of the 43 elementary-school age children had questions -- such as "Do you share information with the Army?" and "What's the worst situation you've ever been in as a Soldier?" -- during a tour of the Missouri National Guard's Cape Girardeau armory last week.

Students from Marquand-Zion R-VI's kindergarten, first, second and third grade toured the armory, taking in the sights in the motor pool, the arms room, the drill floor and field maintenance shop.

School organizers said the day-long field trip took the children to the armory so they could get an appreciation of the country's military.

"Last week we celebrated Veteran's Day and it seemed a good time for them to come here and get a glimpse first-hand of what veterans do," said Colleen Pierson, a kindergarten teacher and wife of Capt. Michael Pierson, who is in the Guard. "They can sort of see the reality of what a Soldier does and where they work."

The students, who also toured the Cape Girardeau County Nature Center earlier in the day, seemed to enjoy the weapons, the military trucks and the interaction with the Citizen-Soldiers the most.

"It's fun," said Landon Lord, a 5-year-old kindergartener. "I really like the trucks."

Emzie Elijah, 6, agreed. "The trucks are really cool, I like them."

Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuire, a recruiter who guided the tour, said the kids seemed interested and were fun to be around.

"It's a fun part of the job," McGuire said. "We got to show the kids what the Guard's all about and their faces just lit up. You could tell they were having a good time and we enjoyed giving them a little insight into what the day-to-day lives of a full-time Guardsman is like."

McGuire said that the Soldiers who interacted with the kids probably enjoyed the tour as much as the actual students did.

"They definitely brought a little joy into the armory today," McGuire said. "It gave us a chance to take a break from the day to day and spend some time with young people. They remind us how interesting our jobs our. It's good to remind the public what the Guard does, but it's especially gratifying to get to spend some time with young people. I think the day went really well."

For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please call 1-800-GoGuard or visit www.moguard.com.


For more information about this release, please contact Scott Moyers at 573-339-6237 or at scott.moyers1@us.army.mil

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