School visit

Fort Hood soldiers with the 79th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion demonstrate to House Creek Elementary School students how a robot is used to retrieve an item and how a camera is used to view the contents of the item before it is retrieved.

They are America’s fighting force. Military men and women are trained to keep America safe, but how do they keep themselves safe?

That was the question House Creek Elementary School students asked soldiers and one local hero visiting their school.

Facing dangerous situations daily, police Officer Cory Feiseler and members of House Creek Elementary School’s adopted military unit, the 79th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion at Fort Hood, took time out of their busy schedules to teach students about their safety gear and the technology that keeps them safe on the battlefield and on the streets.

Fieseler, a former soldier of the 79th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion and current police officer, explained his daily tasks on the force. He demonstrated with members of the Special Weapons and Tactics team how they safely enter a house using their shields while wearing bullet-proof vests.

Student James Kirkham was excited to see and explore the gear the officers wear.

“I liked their shield because it was big,” Kirkham said. “I also liked their armor because it was really cool.”

The soldiers shared how much they rely on and use technology in their jobs, from walkie-talkies to helmets.

Students including Lily Hedge and Lindsay Bunn were surprised when a robot was introduced on stage and the soldiers geared up in their bomb suits.

The unit members showed students how the robot is controlled by a remote and picks things up to keep the soldiers safe. It also has a built-in X-ray machine to see through objects and uses cameras to transmit information to a computer for them to see.

“I enjoyed seeing all of their tools and I really liked the robot because it was able to see through the cameras to find stuff that might hurt us,” Hedge said.

The students listened intently as the soldiers explained that their bomb suits weigh 70 pounds each and even with the full body suit, the robot helps keep them safe by showing them things they may otherwise not see.

“I liked the robot because it had cameras and that was cool because it could see stuff and we could see it on the screen with them,” Bunn said.

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