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NEWS | March 30, 2021

U.S. Army Soldiers volunteer to improve Lithuanian youth center

By 2nd Lt. Eren Moses, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division

The 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, partnered with the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 308th Civil Affairs Brigade, 353rd Civil Affairs Command, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), and the Lithuanian armed forces to renovate the Lietuvos Skautija Center (Lithuanian Scouts), Vilnius, March 13.

“Our Boy Scout center sees over 200 kids each week in Vilnius,” said Kirpas Sereikis, Rover Scout Club deputy. “The help from the U.S. and Lithuanian troopers today was a great boost and cut our project time in half,” Sereikis added.

The Soviet occupation of Lithuania, during WWII, resulted in scouting being banned in 1940. The people of Lithuania kept certain aspects of the organization intact, eventually leading to the reestablishment of the Scouts in Lithuania in 1989.

“It’s great to be able to help an organization I am familiar with because I was a member of the American Boy Scouts growing up,” said Staff Sgt. Tim Horgan, a cavalry scout assigned to 2-8 CAV. “I am enjoying my time in Europe. This is my second time here. So far, we have been able to conduct quality training with our host nation and other NATO allies,” Horgan added.

The Troopers traveled from Pabrade Training Area and were ready to work hard for a good cause. Throughout the day, Troopers sanded and plastered unleveled portions of walls, applied fresh coats of paint and cleaned the facility to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.

“It was just like making home improvements back in Texas. We put on some good music and went to work,” said Sgt.1st Class Mark Lannholm, a tank platoon sergeant.

Lannholm took charge of applying plaster to most of the rooms. Major restorations were needed and significant improvements were made over the course of a few hours.

“It’s always good to help out the youth.” Lannholm added. “Even with the COVID restrictions and minimal interaction, we were able to help restore an important building for the young scouts of Lithuania. I would love the opportunity to volunteer again,”

The U.S. and Lithuanian volunteers posed for a group photo as the last coat of paint was applied to the ceiling. “We greatly needed the work that was done today and would be happy to have their assistance again,” Sereikis said of the volunteers.