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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Army comes to Neosho High School

  • Neosho High School students got a visit from the United States Army Mobile Exhibit Company on Tuesday.
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  • Neosho High School students got a visit from the United States Army Mobile Exhibit Company on Tuesday.
    The traveling exhibit, set up for the day outside of the high school atrium, included a laser shot marksmanship trainer and Xbox games.
    The students were also led in team building and problem solving activities, and some were put to the test with pushups and pull-ups.
    Sgt. 1st Class Cook and Sgt. 1st Class Angelina McFadden, based out of Fort Knox, Ky., travel the country with the exhibit, stopping at high schools, colleges and various events.
    "We call it the Army adventure trailer," Cook said. "For the recruiters, it's a recruiting tool. For us, our mission statement is 'connecting America's people with America's Army.'"
    Cook said he and McFadden help to educate the public about the Army and what they do.
    "We talk to a lot of people about things that we do, things that we've done and who we are," Cook said.
    While many of the students visiting the exhibit Tuesday were members of the NHS Air Force Junior ROTC, students from agriculture, physical education and English courses also spent some time at the exhibit.
    Inside the tent, students lined up to practice a laser shot with McFadden's assistance, shooting at targets moving up and down on the screen.
    Set up next to the laser shooting activity were Microsoft Xbox consoles, where students could play non-war related video games.
    Outside of the tent, Cook and a few Army recruiters challenged the students to see how many pushups and pull-ups they could do, while their classmates cheered them on and helped keep count.
    "I also do team-building events, to show them, every day we have to do problem solving stuff," Cook said. "I had some kids tied up in ropes earlier and they had to figure out how to get out of them. Team building is a big part of what the Army does."
    Richard Wade, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt., NHS instructor and an adviser to the high school's Air Force Junior ROTC program, said the event provided a chance to show the students the less intimidating side of the military.
    "It's just an opportunity that we're going to take advantage of, to get our kids out here and expose them to the Army and the recruiters and let them have some fun for a day," Wade said.
    Alyssa Contreras, a sophomore at NHS and a first-year airman in the high school's Air Force Junior ROTC, joined her classmates in the activities, and was the first female from the group to volunteer to give the pull-ups a try.
    She said the event turned out to be a lot better than she had expected.
    Page 2 of 2 - "They've made it a lot of fun," Contreras said. "I think a lot of people think that military is not fun, that there is no smiling or laughing allowed, that's not necessarily true. They still have fun and do exciting things that are enjoyable, it's not all just harsh punishment."
    The exhibit was in Nevada prior to the Neosho visit, and was scheduled to be at the McDonald County High School campus today.

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