Story and photo by Maj. Carlos Cuebas
1st Mission Support Command
FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico- Army 2nd Lt. Monserrate Vergara from the 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve Puerto Rico, read a Thanksgiving book to several local children, while participating in a story time event held at the Fort Buchanan’s library, Nov. 20.
The Fort Buchanan's library hosted this reading event as a way to promote reading among local children, while developing social skills as well.
While reading the book titled “Best Thanksgiving Book”, Vergara also encouraged the children to explain the meaning of Thanksgiving.
“To be able to interact with the children, asking questions about the story, it is an unforgettable experience. I believe this program should continue,” said Vergara.
“By reading a book your mind can be transported anywhere, because it fuels your imagination. We must encourage reading among our kids,” said Eva Cabañas, Fort Buchanan’s library Director, who also stated that the children see the soldiers as symbol of respect.
“The kids pay very close attention when the person reading is a soldier,” added Cabañas.
The young ones were accompanied by their mothers, who also participated in the event.
“Having a soldier reading to our kids is a beautiful experience because it helps them appreciate the job of the soldier,” said Maylene Vazquez, mother of Mylena and Erwin Lizardi.
”It is an honor to have a soldier here today reading to our kids,” said Denise Cruz, mother of Victoria and Sandra Nieves.
As part of the event, the kid Erwin Lizardi also read a book to the other children.
In addition to the reading activity, the children participated in arts and crafts, creating a turkey, similar to the ones portrayed in the stories.
“This is great for the children. With this type of events we not only teach them to give thanks, but also, by integrating our troops, we teach our kids respect for the sacrifice of our soldiers,” said Maria D. Cuebas, library technician.
By participating in events like this one, personnel from the US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, the largest federal US Army command in the Caribbean, build strong relationships and provide the communities with a greater understanding of the military.
Army 2nd Lt. Monserrate Vergara from the 1st Mission Support Command reads a Thanksgiving book to several local children.