53rd IBCT Soldiers participate in Great American Teach-in

Written by  //  November 16, 2012  //  Feature Stories, News

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By Staff Sgt. Aidana Baez, 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

PINELLAS PARK, Fla, (November 16, 2012) – Soldiers from the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team participated in the annual Great American Teach-in at the Shore Acres Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Fla., November 15, 2012.

Sgt. Shannon D. Bridges, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 53rd Brigade Support Battalion, shows a class of students from Shore Acres Elementary School a vehicle used to transport patients to a medical facility November 15, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla., during the Great American Teach-in. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aidana Baez/released)

The Great American Teach In is a part of Pinellas County Schools’ annual American Education Week celebration.

Sgt. Shannon D. Bridges, 53rd Brigade Support Battalion, was asked to participate in the event by Kimberly Stoessel, assistant principal at Shore Acres Elementary School.

“She saw me in uniform, when I was picking my son up from school,” Bridges said. “She asked me if I wanted to help out and I thought it was a great idea.”

Sgt. Shannon D. Bridges, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 53rd Brigade Support Battalion, shows a class of students from Shore Acres Elementary School the litters used to transport patients to a medical facility November 15, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla., during the Great American Teach-in. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aidana Baez/released)

“We are very fortunate to have parents that are so involved,” Stossel said. “This is a perfect way for the community to help teach the students.”

Bridges, along with other 53rd Brigade Soldiers, brought military vehicles to the school. After a giving a brief class on each vehicle, the students were allowed to climb in the vehicles and get a feel for what it is like to be a Soldier.

Some students showed the Soldiers their abilities by performing push-ups for them.

Shayden Bridges, Shannon Bridges’ son, was so excited to have his dad participate in the event that he wore his own army uniform to school.

“I want to be an army guy when I grow up,” Shayden Bridges said. “I want to be big and strong like my dad.”

The student groups ranged from kindergarteners to fifth-graders. Each class had different questions but the emphasis was the same, even in the Army, education comes first.

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