Soldier reads to children during Tell Me a Story event
Wilson A. Rivera
Facing what might have been his toughest crowd, a command sergeant major took time to read a story to Fort Bliss children Thursday at the Balfour Beatty Community Center here.
Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Pandy, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was assisted by his wife Kristine during a Tell Me a Story event for children ages 4 to 12. The featured story was Night Catch, written by Brenda Ehrmantraut.
“I think it’s great what Fort Bliss is doing to reach out to the military community,” said Master Sgt. Tim Trundle, a student at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. “It’s something good to get us out together as a family.”
Tell Me a Story is hosted by the Military Child Education Coalition, which uses storytelling as a way to empower children through literacy.
Night Catch tells the story of a father having to leave his son behind while the father conducts his duty as a Soldier on the other side of the world. To stay connected with his son, the father tells him about playing a game of catch using the North Star, which can be seen at night around the world.
The story in Night Catch rings true for military families here who are separated due to deployments and temporary duty, such as when the 4th BCT, 1st AD, went to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., said Pandy.
“It’s important to spend as much quality time with your family and focus on the last days before leaving,” said Pandy.
Balfour Beatty representatives said they were glad to offer a place for MCEC to hold its event while the Army Community Service building is under renovation, said Louis Powell, Life Works coordinator with Balfour Beatty.