NEWS | Sept. 18, 2008

Airmen at JTF-Bravo host children's day

By Staff Sgt. Joel Mease Joint Task Force Bravo Public Affairs

More than 90 children from a local orphanage were hosted by Airmen here Sept. 12 for a party to celebrate children's day.

The children from the 612th Air Base Squadron sponsored orphanage, Hogar de Ninos de Nuestra Senora Guadalupe, participated in a day full of activities ranging from tossing water balloons to playing soccer. More than 50 Airmen volunteered to participate in the event.

The idea to host the orphanage came from the Sept. 10 Honduran national holiday, which celebrated children. Since the date was unavailable for the orphanage to come here, the 612th ABS chose to celebrate the holiday with the orphanage two days later, said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Duane Fish, the event organizer.

Overall Sergeant Fish said the event was an enormous success for both the children who participated and the Airmen who volunteered.

"There was just immediate satisfaction knowing we were making their day," Sergeant Fish said. "There are a lot of volunteer opportunities out there, but its not too often you can help a child out and have a positive influence in his or her life."

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Richard Ruiz, an event volunteer, said taking part in children's day was important for him and the servicemembers at Soto Cano.

"We all joined the military to serve," Sergeant Ruiz said. "This was an excellent opportunity to serve our local community and give back to our neighbors of Honduras, who have been great hosts to us."

Personnel from all over JTF-Bravo wanted to help in some way, Tech. Sgt. Fish said.

"Groups like the fire department, who weren't originally on the schedule, went out of their way to spend time with children and let them play in the water from the trucks," Sergeant Fish said. "We also had great support from agencies like AAFES and MWR."