MAPLE HILL, Kan. (KSNT) — Sergeant Raymond Parga could have picked anywhere to have his army reenlistment ceremony.
He chose Maple Hill Elementary, holding his ceremony in the school’s gym, that also doubles as the cafeteria.
“They only reenlist in their careers a few times and so for him to, of all places, select us here at Maple Hill Elementary is just very special,” said Principal Jan Hutley. “We were completely honored to represent him.”
The kids at the school mean a lot to Parga, who is on his third enlistment.
“They tell me about themselves and their goals, and football games and all that,” said Parga. “I feel like we really connect and we bond, almost like they’re my little brothers (or) little sisters.”
For the last several years Parga has been on a special mission to invest in students at Maple Hill Elementary through Fort Riley’s “Adopt-A-School” program.
“He’s fun to be around and I think that really helps kids relate to him and/or military personnel,” said Hutley. “It really is a win-win for our kids and for the military.”
After the ceremony the kids marched, one-by-one, to give high fives and give hand drawn cards to show how much they care about Parga.
Parga said a lot of soldiers will reenlist at sports stadiums and meet athletes while others hold their ceremonies in helicopters.
“I wanted to do something that meant a lot to me, and that meant a lot to the people that mean a lot to me,” said Parga.