A group of “Dragon Strike” Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 381st Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, led by Lt. Col. Scott Ward pose with picks, axes, rocks, and tree stumps at Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children in Killeen on Oct. 4. The team battalion soldiers resulted in two months worth of work being completed in four hours. (Photo by Tyler Duenas, Program Director for Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children)

KILLEEN — Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 381st Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, took time out to volunteer Oct. 4 at Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children.

Thirty soldiers volunteered their time cleaning buildings, gardening, grinding stumps and removing brush from the 120-acre facility. Volunteers were eager to provide their time and efforts as they learned about Peaceable Kingdom’s mission and impact on children throughout Texas.

Since 1984, Peaceable Kingdom has provided a place of solace for children who are chronically ill, children with disabilities, and their families. The retreat specializes in modifying activities for children who have visual impairments, Prader Willi Syndrome, missing limbs and various neurological differences.

More than 5,000 visitors play basketball, go hiking, zip-lining, fishing and swimming at the retreat annually.

Campers can watch movies on a theater-sized screen in the camp theater. Peaceable Kingdom is truly a place where children are empowered, differences don’t exist and no one leaves unchanged.

“It was extremely gratifying to learn about the mission of Peaceable Kingdom and know that our work was helping an organization that contributes so greatly to children in our community,” said Capt. Eric Lewis, a mobilized Army Reservist, who also serves as an elementary school teacher in Killeen Independent School District. “Additionally, it was a great way to build unit cohesion and esprit de corps.”

Soldiers were praised by Peaceable Kingdom’s staff for accomplishing more than two months worth of work in four hours.

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