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NEWS | Aug. 19, 2019

187th Medical Battalion donates more than $10,000 worth of school supplies

By Jose E. Rodriguez Health Readiness Center of Excellence Public Affairs

Students and teachers at Briscoe Elementary School in the San Antonio Independent School District received a welcome surprise when Soldiers from the 187th Medical Battalion, Health Readiness Center of Excellence, or HRCoE, delivered more than $10,000 worth of school supplies Aug. 8 as part of the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Adopt-a-School program.

Led by the students of the Company B Graduate School, Masters of Social Work, or MSW program, the battalion conducted the massive school supply drive by reaching out to the HRCoE students and staff.

“Our master’s in social work class is working hard to support our local community by participating in service projects and developing events that help meet the needs of those in our most vulnerable, oppressed and underserved local populations,” said 2nd Lt. Jamie Webb, who helped organize the drive.

Webb said her fellow students were genuinely excited when the battalion agreed to allow the MSW students to spearhead the school supply drive this year.

“Students from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston taking action is a great model for our kids to see,” said Jennifer Emerson, Briscoe principal. “I am honored and I know my teachers and the families are blessed. This means the world to us.”

The 187th Medical Battalion sponsors Briscoe Elementary School as part of the Fort Sam Houston Adopt-a-School Program.

In past years, the battalion’s Soldiers and civilians have organized numerous fund raisers and holiday toy drives. They also mentor students by visiting the school throughout the school year.

Webb and her follow MSW students carried on the tradition of volunteer service by coordinating this school supply drive.

“I spoke with each of the graduate programs about our supply drive and explained the extent of the need for the students of Briscoe Elementary School,” Webb said. “Ninety-two percent of the children in this school qualify for free or reduced lunches and for many of these children, the food they receive at school is the only food they have access to.

“When these families have no food in their pantries and they have to decide between paying the electric or utility bill and purchasing pencils and crayons, school supplies simply cannot be the priority,” Webb added.

Beyond the many fundraisers, the Soldiers of 187th Medical Battalion also serve as examples of excellence for the students.

“When the students see the Soldiers on our campus it brings an excitement,” Emerson said. “It’s like the Soldiers are the kid’s superheroes and it is real life. The Soldiers are role models. I thank the Soldiers for the taking on this project and making it as big and bountiful is incredible.”