So I traveled back to the great state of Texas again. The flight down there this time was more eventful than I could have imagined. I got to Dallas and everything shut down because of weather and when they finally let us board the plane we sat on the tarmac waiting for an hour. Lucky for us there was a Mariachi band and their entire family on the plane and they serenaded us till we took off - not bad unless you just wanted to sleep. Once I landed in McAllen, Tx things got moving and I started visiting high schools. The first school I went to was in Brownsville, Tx where I talked to the JROTC students. They were a great bunch of students, and they were very eager to find out everything about joining the service. I was impressed the the caliber of questions and their motivated attitude towards the Army.
I then went to Harlingen High School and visited the JROTC program. They were having their pool day so I went with them to the community pool, where they conducted water calisthenics and team building exercises. I had a blast with these young adults, and they were also very interested in the military. I also talked to the instructors and told them about the Army's Combat Water Survival Test(CWST) and we talked about integrating that into their program since they swim every Tuesday.
I spent some time with the Mission recruiting station where I got to talk to a group of Future Soldiers. They had just finished a group run. I met them at the local community park where they meet every Wednesday to conduct some pre basic training. I think this is a great program that helps the new recruits get in shape for their upcoming basic training. They had a lot of questions and were very interested in what basic training is like. I had a great time talking to them and wishing them good luck when they leave for basic training.
On Thursday I went to the Sharyland high school to witness and take part in their attempt at breaking a Guinness book of world record. They were attempting to break the record of the largest awareness ribbon. Their awareness ribbon was for a drug free America and measured 821 foot and beat the old record by around 500 ft. It was an awesome experience. I had the pleasure of helping to hold the ribbon for the official record breaking measurement. I also got to talk to many of the students and faculty.
On Friday I went to Weslaco East High School where I talked to some history classes and the JROTC. These student were very receptive of what I had to say and asked some of the most inquisitive questions. I had a blast there. They really made me appreciate what I do. The fact that I get to go around the country and meet all these different people, talk to them and spread the Army message and my personal Army story with groups that hold you in such esteem is truly a humbling experience. I just hope that I have made some kind of impact on them, and they now see the need for a future plan, whether it is the service, school, or the civilian work force.