“I’m glad I got the opportunity,” said Seaman Kristyn Fry. “I love kids. I’ve always loved kids. These kids are amazing; they have a lot of questions, they’re very engaged, (their) memories are great for them to remember where we’re from, what our names are.”
Wettengel Elementary School Principal Evangeline Igelsias said she was excited to welcome the Sailors to the school to talk to the kids about their careers and to provide them with inspiration for their future.
“Establishing good rapport with the local community is very important for the military so we can have ideas that it’s not a segregated or separated community,” she said. “We always want to keep good, strong ties with our military personnel to create a bond, to create a friendship with one another.”
Fry said she was glad to meet the students and provide them a brief overview of her career.
“I think personally you talk to the kids, you tell them what (we) do because they need to know,” she said. “Maybe they want to join, maybe you’ll spark an interest in them and that’s a good thing because they’re our future and that’s all we have and if we train them and we do well, then we’ll have a great future.”
After meeting with the students and getting in a little one-on-one time, the Sailors rolled up their sleeves and helped school staff with various maintenance projects such as landscaping and recycling efforts.
“Any kind of support any volunteer personnel that do come out to the school sites are very, very much appreciated,” Iglesias said.
She added that having the Sailors there was a good way to show students that service members come from different places, have different backgrounds but all serve to protect the nation.
“The people who serve in our military are like who we have here on the island,” she said. “Their moms and dads, their uncles and aunties that are there to serve and protect our island and knowing they are here as a presence to defend our nation, to defend our island is very important. So just seeing them come out and express their roles and responsibilities is a very good exposure for our students.”