Capt. Patrick Bickers, commander of Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 2nd Training Support Battalion, 347th Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, gives one of the teachers a coin for their hard work during a school supply donation at Ysleta Elementary School, El Paso, Texas, Sept. 9, 2020. The donation is to support the community through the pandemic and to raise awareness to military installations and various communities across the country. It also marked the first time the school received charity donations from the military. | U.S. Army photo by Sgt. John Onuoha / 5th Armored Brigade Public Affairs
Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Training Support Battalion, 347th Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, donated school supplies to Ysleta Elementary School.
The donation is to support the community through the pandemic and to raise awareness to military installations and various communities across the country. It also marked the first time the school received charity donations from the military.
Capt. Patrick Bickers, the commander of Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 2-347 TSBn or Task Force Trail Blazer, 5th AR BDE, said the gratification in giving back to the community inspired his team to do something generous.
“I am at the point of tears, honestly, because I am very touched by our Soldiers who I feel do so much for our country,” said Mrs. Norma Osuna, principal of the elementary school. “For our Soldiers to take time and spend their own money on giving back to the community, it is something that really touches my heart.”
The thoughtfulness of Soldiers who donated in support of the school was exemplary and a demonstration of the Army values.
Osuna explained that through the hardships of the pandemic, there’s a lot of families in the community who benefit from the kindness of Soldiers.
“It helps us build a better relationship [with the community] as we move forward into the future,” Bickers said.
Osuna also described the emotional aspect of it and how some parents are unable to assist their kids with distance learning because they can barely provide for their families due to unemployment.
“What I found in the kids is that this distance learning and not being able to be at school is that they miss the social aspect,” said Osuna. “They miss their friends, they miss the hugs from their teachers. We found that the kids really miss each other, and they really long to be with their friends.”
The school also expressed their appreciation for the donations and were grateful for the Soldiers being good role models for the kids.
“When you go back to wherever you are from,” said Osuna. “You need to always think about how you are going to give back to your community.”