Fun Day with the Guard at Kelly High School

Thursday, April 14, 2011
Staff Sgt. Cody Jones, of the 1140th Engineer Battalion in Cape Girardeau, cheers on students of Kelly High School on an obstacle course during Fun Day with the Guard.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Soldiers of the Headquarters Company, 1140th Engineer Battalion and Company E Recruit Sustainment Program recently hosted a Fun Day with the Guard for the students of Kelly High and Kelly Middle Schools.

The day was meant to show the kids some of the cool things the Guard can do, said Staff Sgt. Steve Bell, a recruiter at the Cape Girardeau armory.

"I wanted the kids and the community to see that the Guard isn't just about deployments and state emergency duties," said Bell. "The Soldiers support the community in many different ways and the kids get to see that."

The Guard supplied several blow-up obstacle courses, a rock wall and Humvees for the kids to enjoy. And for ten push-ups kids could earn a National Guard t-shirt.

300 high school and 200 middle school students got to participate in the day's activities, said Rhonda Ratledge, a guidance counselor at the high school.

"This is the second year we've done this with the Guard and it's so good for the kids," said Ratledge. "It gets the kids outside, have some fun and just be a kid."

Valeria Ward, a junior and senior English teacher, said the day is also a good opportunity for the kids to interact with the Soldiers.

"They really enjoy talking to them," said Ward. "It's good for the kids to know them as people and not just men and women in uniform."

"They've given us all sorts of stuff and support," Ratledge agreed. "But at events like this they give us their personal time and it means so much."

For Bell the day couldn't be more successful then to see the kids and Soldiers have fun.

"It's all about being there for the community," said Bell. "The kids get so much out of this but we do too. We get to spend time with a great bunch of kids. It's one of the best days to be a Guardsman."

For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please visit and our social media sites:;;;;;

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: