Soldiers from the 514th Medical Company stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) helped students at Tillicum Elementary with reading, math, science and other subjects at least once a month this year. Tillicum has always had a partnership with a medical brigade at JBLM but the visits weren’t on a regular basis.
Capt. Jonathan Williams, commander of the company, started working with Tillicum principal Taj Jensen in 2013 to see if they could organize the visits on a regular basis to provide some consistency for the students. Anywhere from a dozen to two dozen soldiers visit each month.
“The students really look forward to seeing the soldiers,” said Jensen. “They light up when they see them!”
The soldiers are positive role models for the students. Students see soldiers of different genders and races and learn what state they came from and the various jobs they perform. This shows the students different career paths for the future and the importance of teamwork and giving back to the community.
“The soldiers enjoy visiting Tillicum and look forward to visiting the school,” said Williams. “All the soldiers in our company have a common goal of supporting kids.”