Grade students at Charles Hart Middle school in Southeast DC got a
to think about their opportunities on May 20th. As part of the
annual May Day celebration, soldiers from the 260th Regional
Institute and Counterdrug task force visited with a Kiowa helicopter
an up-armored Humvee. The program was coordinated by a computer sciences
at the middle school, Tanya Riggins, known in her DCNG life as Cpt.
an instructor at the RTI.
seventh -grade students, with direction from 1st Sgt. Terrance Smith of
Counterdrug Task Force, performed a FOD walk on the lawn of the school
then watched from a safe distance as the helicopter landed. Many of the
school students, as well as a class from the local day care center,
or shouted in amazement as the helicopter landed. One young lady
to angle in closer so that she could feel "the helicopter wind in her
Several students involved with the photography club were assigned to
pictures and interview DCNG members. After receiving a class on the
the students were given a chance to talk to the soldiers about their
in the military. Spc. Arna Perrine, a supply specialist, was on
to talk to interested students. "Telling about these experiences is
cool. It helps people think about school as being part of a career
principal is not a risk taker, but he understood the value of bringing
kind of experience to the kids," Cpt. Riggins said. First Sgt. Smith
the importance of this kind of community outreach. "I always feel
I connect with at least one or two youths. We make a difference."
Malik Freeman, deputy commander of the 260th RTI, was clear about why he
volunteered to come in. "Getting into the DC community. This
is what we
People helped me along the way. Just because you grow up in a
that people say isn't the best doesn't mean you can't have a
People helped show me the way, and it's important to give it back."
Craig Hunter and Chief Warrant Officer Fred Hall served double duty as
and instructors for the aircraft. They said that the benefits of
with youth were not-one sided. "The energy," they agreed,
Tanya Riggins and Cpt. Craig Hunter introduce
students at Hart Middle
School some of the features of the Kiowa Helicopter.