Spotted: 101st Airborne Troop visiting Encinal Elementary School in Atherton

by Parke Treadway on April 2, 2018

Last month Encinal Elementary School welcomed very special visitors from the 101st Airborne Troop as part of their Operation Eagle Visit: 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Facilitated by the Atherton Police Department, who has adopted this troop, Encinal students, with librarian Denise Healy, made and sent holiday cards to the troop last December. The soldiers stopped by Encinal to thank them for their good wishes, and were treated to a celebration in return.

Students honored the troops with songs led by teachers Amy Gee and John Ashfield, and engaged in a Q&A. Curious students asked questions like “What have you learned serving in the Army?” and “What is the most difficult thing about being in the Army?” The soldiers said what they learned most was about themselves – how to expand their mental and physical limits, how to get along with people from all over the world, and what character they wanted to have. The most difficult thing is being away from their families, but they are proud to be giving back to their country and know their families are proud of them, too.

After a lively and memorable ceremony, the five soldiers headed to the blacktop to take on the newly-minted 5th grade boys basketball champions in a friendly game, which the boys won 13-12.  

The Menlo Park City School District thanks the Atherton Police Department for coordinating this special visit and the holiday card writing project, and Soldiers Carson, Conyers, Gomes, Pynn, and Smith of the 101st Airborne for visiting and talking with the students. The children were friendly and excited to meet the troops and learned a lot from the special time they spent together.

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