SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras, –
Several members of Joint Task Force-Bravo were on hand for the opening ceremony of the Honduras Special Olympics at Carlos Miranda Stadium in Comayagua today.
The ceremony marked the beginning of the Honduras Special Olympics soccer tournament, which will be played at Soto Cano Air Base, Oct. 25-26.
Joint Task Force-Bravo is partnering with the Special Olympics of Honduras as well as the Honduran Air Force to provide support for the event. Joint Task Force-Bravo prepared the soccer field and will equip it with tents, bleachers and tables. The American military members are also providing medical professionals and security for both the players and spectators. Joint Task Force-Bravo is also providing daily transportation for the athletes from Comayagua to Soto Cano Air Base and back, and service-member volunteers will be working throughout the event to ensure the athletes are taken care of and to make sure the event is a success.
Additionally, civilian employees and military personnel from Joint Task Force-Bravo gave donations to provide lunch and snacks for the athletes participating in the tournament.
"It has been so important for Joint Task Force-Bravo to help us," said Gracia Mendez, Executive Director of Special Olympics Honduras. "We didn't know how to make it happen, and we thought it might not even be possible. But we were able to meet with them and it was great! They said they could help us and they are more than happy to do it. What we thought wouldn't be possible came true!"
Lt. Col. Michael Frazier, Joint Task Force-Bravo Director of Civil Affairs, coordinated JTF-Bravo's participation in the event.
"It is an honor for Joint Task Force-Bravo to be able to support this incredible event," said Frazier. "We are very happy to have the opportunity to work with our partner nation of Honduras to help make these Special Olympics happen for these extraordinary and inspirational athletes."
Mendez said the partnership between the Americans and the Hondurans working together for a common goal is very special.
"This is really amazing for us," she said. "It's the first time we've been able to work together with two countries at the same time. Usually in Honduras, we are working only with the Hondurans, but the Americans have helped us so much on this. To work together as one team for this event is just wonderful."
The Honduras Special Olympics games will be played daily at Soto Cano Air Base from Oct. 25-26. A final game will be played at Carlos Miranda Stadium on Sept. 27, which will be followed by the Special Olympics closing ceremonies.