The end of summer can be marked by children returning to school. This transition can be tough and even a little scary, but on Aug. 8, the Troopers of 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment assisted in this transition for the children of Fort Irwin Middle School, here.
“We came here to help the students find their classes for the first day of school,” said Spc. Jim A. Encinas, a Trooper assigned to I Battery, 1/11 ACR. “This shows Fort Irwin that we are here to help and support the community.”
The 1/11 ACR has a sponsorship program with the middle school, helping children and the community by participating with the school throughout the year. Being part of a military family can be difficult at times due to deployments, rotations or permanent change-of-station moves. The sponsorship program helps children cope with these difficulties.
“I think that the unique thing about living on a military base is that all of the students are members of a military family,” said Lt. Col. Frederick R. Snyder, commander of the 1/11 ACR. “This is why we are out here trying to ease the stresses of the first day of school.”
Snyder and FIMS Principal Mike Sullivan signed a document to reaffirm the sponsorship program between the two. The program aims at setting children up for success, but is also geared toward helping the parents understand how important they are in their child’s future.
“Prior to today, I talked with my children about how important it is to pay attention in school and to gain the knowledge, which the teachers will pass on, [and] which will enable them to continue in their academic careers,” said Master Sgt. Monroe Ili, non-commissioned officer-in-charge with S-2 at Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1/11 ACR.
Fort Irwin is steeped in tradition and as time goes on, new activities become new traditions. The school sponsorship program is now one of those traditions. This support shows each child that the Troopers of Fort Irwin care about their success and are invested in the future of each student.