NEWS | Sept. 20, 2011

Youth from local orphanage visit Soto Cano Air Base

By Tech. Sgt. Matthew McGovern Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

Children from a nearby orphanage visited Joint Task Force-Bravo members for a day of fun Sept. 17, here.

The 17 children, from San Jose Orphanage in nearby Comayagua city, played soccer, broke open piñatas, explored a UH60 Blackhawk and Chinook helicopter, ate barbecued chicken, and swam in the base pool.

School supplies and candy were also presented to each child, ages two through nine, by base leadership.

"I can't even describe how good it feels to give school supplies to the children," said Col. Ross Brown, JTF-Bravo commander. "We're neighbors of the community and the best neighbors are those that find ways to help. The involvement of our organizations with the orphanages is not only about giving, caring and loving but it's about good neighborly behavior."

Each organization across JTF-Bravo visits and donates to the five different nearby orphanages. And Iris Medina, the Civil Military Operations liaison, said children aren't the only ones that benefit from these events.

"Helping out with this visit was priceless," Ms. Medina said. "You get paid to do your job but nothing compares to the satisfaction of working with these kids."

Ms. Medina said she accompanied Colonel Brown to the orphanage a couple of months prior and provided Sister Edith Suazo, the children's sole care giver, with food items.

"Sister Edith wants the photos from each visit because she's planning on dedicating a wall to JTF-Bravo," Ms. Medina said. "She wants to hang a collage and include maintenance photos of a visit by JTF-Bravo special forces, who helped repair the orphanage's roof."

The children recognized JTF-Bravo repeat visitors and offered hugs. During the latest visit to the base, on the flightline tour, the children climbed into helicopters with assistance from the aircrews.

"When the children reached the flightline and ran to the helicopters they shouted, '"We're in America, We're in America,"' said Ms. Medina.