Soldiers from a Fort Bliss company are walking the hallways, stairways and classrooms daily at Montwood High School as part of a program called “Ram Watch,” designed to increase security at the school.
Started in January, the purpose is to give back to the community and help keep the students, staff and administration safe, said Capt. Daniel Sloan, who is with Alpha Company 47th Brigade Support Battalion 2/1 Armor Division.
“Every day two of our soldiers show up and spend the day here,” Sloan said. “We like to think of it as a mentorship program.”
The idea for the program is part of Fort Bliss Commanding General Stephen Twitty’s goal of strengthening community ties. He wants the military to be a positive presence in the El Paso area, Sloan said.
The soldiers also assist special needs students, help students with homework, monitor lunch times and answer any questions the youngsters
“Often they will talk to us about what it takes to join the Army,” said El Paso native Sgt. Jasmine Bueno. “So many come up to us and thank us for serving.”
The soldiers do try to keep students in line, making sure they get to class on time and are not wandering the hallways, Bueno said.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “I have really liked working with the students.”
Ilyas Lujan, 17, is interested in joining the military and has talked to the soldiers about what he needs to do.
“They really have been a good influence on us,” Lujan said. “I see them as role models we can look up to. Maybe that is why I want to join the
The battalion will take a break in the summer and return to Montwood for the 2016-2017 school year ready to help in whatever way they can.
“They are awesome,” said Ram’s Principal Rosemary Mireles-Menchaca. “They give us such a strong sense of safety. That is at the forefront of what we do, so it’s a joy to see them here.”