NEWS | March 2, 2014

Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element hosts "Fiesta Day" for local Honduran orphanages

By U.S. Army Sgt. Courtney Kreft Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element

Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL) hosted a "Fiesta Day" for 40 boys, 72 girls, and 23 adult chaperones from the Hogar de Ninos and Ninas Nazareth orphanage, Mar 1.

The "Fiesta Day" was a way for the current MEDEL to say farewell to the children they have been supporting as their nine-month tour at Soto Cano draws to a close.

"We wanted to do something for these children that would leave our mark," said U.S. Army Sgt. Michelle Krieg, one of the planners for this event. "For months we have tried to provide these children with as much as possible to make their lives a little better each day. Seeing these children smile and be so appreciative of the little things in life that we take for granted is what touches our hearts. Saying goodbye to them today is very hard as they have brought just as much joy to our lives as we did to theirs over these past nine months."

The kids and adults enjoyed a lunch of pizza, as well as playing soccer, Frisbee, and some arts and crafts, including bead making, face painting, and having their nails painted. The Soto Cano Fire Department also supported the event and hooked up their hoses to a fire hydrant so that the kids could play in the water.

"This rotation of MEDEL has done several orphanage visits over the last nine months and we always end up playing soccer with them. Being able to present them with some 'Kick for Nick' soccer balls and two new sewing machines is a great pleasure," said U.S. Army Sgt. Loreon Cuffee. "We have done many fundraisers and donated a lot of items to the two orphanages we sponsor, and these kids give so much back with their laughter and their time. It is an experience I will never forget."

MEDEL has brought both of their orphanages on post twice within the last seven months and has provided a day of fun for the more than 150 orphans they sponsor. Between the two events, more than 100 volunteers from all Major Supporting Commands (MSCs) on JTF-Bravo have helped make these events possible.

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.