MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE, ALBANY Ga. -- A new lone ranger is in town and he is out to fire a few silver bullets into misinformation, which could be robbing students of a proper education.
Gunnery Sgt. Richard Walker has recently been appointed as the Base?s School Liaison Officer -- the first in the Marine Corps. And according to Walker, that makes him somewhat of a lone ranger.
According to Walker, a white letter from Headquarters Marine Corps recommend creating an education billet for one individual to be responsible for acting as a liaison between parents of grade school children and school officials in the local community.
By the time the letter came out, MCLB Albany personnel had already created such a billet.
?We?ve just been a step ahead of the rest here in Albany,? said Walker.
Walker is now responsible for assisting parents in finding educational opportunities for children ranging in age from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Another benefit of the new billet is that it should allow Walker?s counterpart, Gunnery Sgt. Donald Feazell, education officer here, to concentrate on college education. Feazell was the one responsible for initiating the creation of the billet here.
According to Walker, splitting the educational duties between two people has made information on each level of education more easily accessible to Marines and their family members.
?Now we have education covered from the cradle to college,? said Walker.
Walker will field questions on subjects such as the quality of local schools, locations, what programs they offer, scholarship information and after-school programs. Feazell will assist those on the collegiate level.
According to Walker, the first five years of a child?s education are the most important because that is when they form their study habits and lay the basis of their education. Walker said one of the keys to a good education is a solid foundation in reading and writing.
Walker also stressed the importance of parental involvement and encouraging parents to visit their children while at school.
?Parents don?t disrupt the teacher?s schedule if they drop by once a month or so. If they come by, they can learn the instructor?s teaching style, which would help them understand the types of homework and projects their children bring home,? said Walker. ?In addition, it shows your child that you care about their education.?
The program is also designed to help bridge the gap between incoming personnel and the local community.
Walker has also checked with the Army personnel at Fort Benning, who already have the School Liaison Officer billet in place, and hopes that their experience will help him to streamline the implementation process here.
Walker moved here from Pensacola, Fla., with a teaching degree in elementary education. He brought his wife of 14 years, Cynthia, and their two children Cara and Dustin with him. He requested to be stationed here because Albany is a small town with an industrial atmosphere, which is similar to what he was used to growing up. Cynthia currently teaches eighth grade English at Lee County Middle School.