Army reservist reads to children at Rock Hill center

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 1, 2004

Even after months of rigorous training, Psc. Scott Osborne may have been out of his league last week when he entertained fourteen excited children overjoyed to meet an American soldier.

Osborne, a combat medic in the U.S. Army Reserve's 676th Medical Detachment out of Kenova, W.Va., visited the Rock Hill Child Development Center Friday to read to the children in Lori Stonerock's class.

The children hung on his every word, moving steadily closer and closer. When it was time to leave, there were hugs a plenty to go around.

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"It was really great to see the way they reacted," Osborne said. "I walked in the door, they saw the uniform and they were just wide-eyed."

Stonerock, Osborne's fianc\u00E9, said the children saw the soldier's picture on her desk and have been bursting with excitement to meet him ever since.

Osborne read to them about the Pledge of Allegiance and other patriotic topics that go along with some of the things they have learned and heard their families talk about.

"People think they just come here to play but they are learning so much," Stonerock said. "They are like little sponges. They are just soaking up so much."

Nathaniel Malone, 6, had an ear-to-ear smile as he talked about how much fun he had.

"I liked when he read us the books," the kindergartner-to-be said. "We learned about the American flag."

Osborne enlisted in August 2003 and returned Wednesday from training in Texas. Though many people said now was the wrong time to enlist, he disagreed wholeheartedly.

"It was just time to serve. There were a lot of reasons. I don't really know why, it was just something that had nagged at me for 10 years," he said. "With the current situation, it was just the right time to go."

Looking ahead, Osborne fully expects to be deployed overseas and will be ready to roll when duty calls.

"It might be a year, a week or a month. You never know. But I am ready," he said. "I have been highly trained for two things: to take lives and to save lives. I hope I never have to use either one."