SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras, –
Joint Task Force-Bravo's Joint Security Forces (JSF) hosted an "Anniversary Celebration" for 85 boys and girls and 19 adult chaperones from the CasAyuda organization, March 11, 2014.
The celebration commemorated the organization's fifteenth anniversary and marked thirteen years of continuous collaborations with not only JSF but the entire Task Force.
Members from JSF, 612th Air Base Squadron, 1-228th Aviation Regiment, and Army Forces Battalion helped supervise and entertain the children as they spent the afternoon jumping in a bouncy castle, playing soccer, swimming, and watching a movie as well as doing arts and crafts, including face painting. The Soto Cano Fire Department also supported the event and hooked up their hoses to a fire hydrant so the kids could play in the water. "It was a great day, we all had fun, and enjoyed sharing with the kids," said U.S. Air Force Major Robert Shaw, Joint Security Forces commander.
Everyone enjoyed a hot dog, hamburger, chips, and cake for lunch. "They loved it, we made sure they were enjoying it and enjoying themselves," said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Carolyn Best, health care non-commissioned-officer-in-charge for 1-228th Aviation Regiment. "One of our primary causes is humanitarian aid and sharing with some of these kids was truly special because it allows us to give back to the community."
Joint Task Force-Bravo's Joint Security Forces has visited CasAyuda six times over the past six months and has supported them with food, clothes, shoes, toys, school supplies, and many other donations.
Ms. Nelly Zelaya, executive director and founder of Fundación CasAyuda, refers to Joint Task Force-Bravo's service members as "our angels". JSF's regular visits "are something they always look forward to and they are always appreciative of everything JSF does."
On behalf of Joint Task Force-Bravo and Joint Security Forces, Shaw presented Zelaya with a commemorative wooden plaque.
"When you give to people, it is something special and you make a difference in the world," said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Hector Caraballo, JSF flight sergeant and organizer for CasAyuda's visit to Soto Cano Air Base. "My squad and my chain of command were very helpful and I'm grateful we were able to put together a day filled with joy and activities these children will never forget."
JTF-Bravo service members regularly participate in numerous community engagements within Honduras; providing support to orphanages and local villages. JTF-Bravo personnel have supported more than 1,000 children at seven different orphanages in Honduras since the early 1990's, spending time interacting with the children, donating much-needed supplies, and doing construction work on the buildings in which the children live.