Soldiers from the 62nd Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade, escorted Boy Scout Troop 1077 around Fort Hood on Feb. 1-2.
During the trip, soldiers gave the Scouts from Dallas insight into the Army lifestyle.
Feb. 1 started with a tour of Robert Gray Army Airfield, including the approach control area and tower operations.
“All of us at Robert Gray Army Airfield enjoy what we do,” said Tracy Crawford, airfield manager. “We are proud of the airfield, our facilities, and the support that we provide to the soldiers of Fort Hood. We appreciate every opportunity that we have to talk about who we are and what we do with groups visiting Fort Hood.”
Once the tour was over, they were ready for their first meal of the day. To get a total Army experience, the Scouts were given Meal Ready-to-Eat packages.
“It was pretty good,” said Ethan Kaye, assistant patrol leader. “The pork ribs were delicious.”
From there, the boys wanted to see some flight equipment. It was a Saturday, but a team from Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stood ready to greet the boys, and introduce them to the world of aviation.
First Lt. Elisa Hawkins, platoon leader, 1st Lt. Rumeal Lewis, executive officer, and Sgt. Timothy N. LeBar, crew chief, gave the boys an up-close look at some of their choppers. The team was eager to share their knowledge with the troops, and helped put even bigger smiles on their faces.
Having a son in the Cub Scouts made it an easy choice to volunteer, LeBar said. It feels good seeing the kids come out here and have fun.
Next they experienced the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, where, scouts got the opportunity to test their marksmanship skills in a virtual scenario.
The trainer is as close to live-fire as it gets when it comes to replicating small arms engagement skills in the safest manner possible.
Even with no basic training skills or previous firing experience under their belts, the Scouts did a great job. Two of them, Camden Voker and Michael Uhrik, even qualified to Army standards and were given marksmanship badges for their efforts.
For their final tour destination, the Scouts visited the 1st Cavalry Division Museum, and played a scavenger hunt game where clues led them to different artifacts.
Before they headed home to Dallas on Sunday, Sgt. 1st Class Luis Molinari, of the 62nd Signal Battalion, presented the boys with certificates of appreciation from the battalion.
Traveling with the scouts was World War II veteran and former signal soldier, Jim Niederer. He received a Fort Hood coin in recognition of his military service. He never got the opportunity to serve at “The Great Place,” and appreciated the opportunity to tour the post.
“I enjoyed seeing all the equipment,” Niederer said. “It’s unbelievable how big this place is. You guys have all been so nice and polite to us.”
Jim’s son, Scoutmaster Kenneth Niederer, was impressed with the hospitality his Scouts and team were given during the trip.
“We never dreamed we’d have this kind of reception,” he said. “I was really taken aback with how much you guys put into this.”