SALADO — The 3rd Cavalry Regiment began another partnership in its Adopt-A-School program when Lt. Col. Jonathan Byrom, commander of 3rd Squadron, cut a ceremonial ribbon May 29 outside of Salado Junior High School.
Students and faculty welcomed members of the unit during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the school.
Chris Diem, Salado Junior High School principal, and Byrom both spoke of the opportunity troopers and students will have interacting with one another.
“The relationship with 3rd Cavalry Regiment and Thunder Squadron allows us to do our current activities and programs even better,” Diem said. “It’s also important because a lot of our students have ties to the military either with parents or extended family.”
“It’s a good idea,” said Jake Walrath, a 12-year-old student. “I like soldiers and they are good people to be around. I think it will be great when they are here helping all the students and if they were at the football games it would be awesome. “
Diem, who had a positive experience when he was in high school with the Adopt-A-School program in Killeen, would like to expose his students to the military in a similar way.
“Even though we are only 20 miles away from Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the world, some of our students have not had interactions with the military until today,” Diem said. “I want to get people on campus who are going to help the kids with their academics, see them in sports, support them in the classroom, and provide manpower for projects around the school that we need to get off the ground.
“On the flip side the vast majority of the troopers in Thunder Squadron and 3rd Cavalry Regiment are not from Central Texas, so we want to provide a home for them with functions and activities; they can come out to our games for instance. 3rd Cavalry Regiment is always welcome here in Salado,” Diem said.
The Adopt-A-School Program started in the mid-1990s and unites area schools with different Fort Hood units.
Soldiers from each unit assist students in their adopted schools with tutoring, mentoring and leadership skills.
“We think it is going to be mutually beneficial for both sides, Byrom said. “We will be working with (the junior high) in tutoring, supporting them with events in the school and outside community and school sporting events. We look forward to cheering them on in many different ways.”