NEWS | March 26, 2008

Joint Task Force-Bravo hosts orphanage for Easter fun

By Tech Sgt. William Farrow Joint Task Force-Bravo public affairs

More than 80 children from an orphanage in Comayagua, Honduras, visited the men and women of Joint Task Force-Bravo 21 for day of food, fun and camaraderie.

The children, ranging in ages from 5-15 years old, were greeted by awaiting JTF-Bravo personnel, who then accompanied different age-groups of children to different activity "stations."

While soccer and basketball were popular activities for the older children, the younger children were content coloring and then eating Easter eggs.

However, cooling off by splashing in the base swimming pool seemed the most popular activity for all ages.

Each of the five JTF-Bravo major subordinate commands has adopted local orphanages and most MSC's personnel visit their respective orphanages monthly. The visits provide an opportunity for the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen to interact with the children and give the children to adults other than the caregivers who work at the orphanages.

According to Army Sgt. Arthur Flood, JTF-Bravo finance office and one of the event's coordinators, bringing the children to Soto Cano Air Base gives them a chance to see where their military friends work and live.

"We have facilities that can provide a good time for the children. Any change from their normal day-to-day life is very exciting for them," he said.

A volunteer at the orphanage said she was impressed with the amount of effort the military put into working with the orphanage.

"I know the children enjoy the interaction, but I also see how the military folks benefit from these outreach programs too," said Ms. Cassidy Norrell, an educator from Kentucky who volunteered to teach English at the orphanage for four months. "I think it helps the military folks connect not only with the children, but also with the culture and community and the children really appreciate all the attention when the military people show up."