Thursday, May 09, 2013

Texas Seabees Help with Special Olympics

Texas Seabees Help with Special Olympics

By Chief Utilitiesman Scott Kristek, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Learning Site Detachment, Sheppard Air Force Base Public Affairs
ARCHER CITY, Texas (NNS) -- Students and staff from the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE) Learning Site Detachment, Sheppard Air Force Base (SAFB) assisted in the annual North Texas Area 9 Special Olympics Spring Games, May 4.

Utilitiesman 1st Class Charlie King, an instructor at the Utilitiesman "A" School, led a group of 17 CSFE detachment students in assisting competitors and coaches and setting up and tearing down assistance stations and events.

"It's a privilege to be able to come out and help cheer on the participants." said King. "Although they have special needs or disabilities, they have the biggest hearts and admiration towards our services."

King's team of Seabees arrived at the event early in the morning to set up stations for activities like tug-of-war, potato sack races, three-legged races, an over-size inflatable lawn bowling game, an art project area, several snack venue stations and an athlete village where families and competitors could cool-down and enjoy snacks, beverages, and games.

The Navy students were actively engaged with the competitors. Six of the Sailors were paired as special partners with athletes, helping to motivate and assist them with reaching each station and ensuring everyone had fun.

"You can see the excitement in the Olympians' eyes when you come up to help them out or cheer them on," added King.

Once the competitions began, volunteers and family members stood side-by-side cheering everyone on with homemade posters, banners, and noisemakers.

"There was non-stop enthusiasm on behalf of the athletes and their partners," said student volunteer Utilitiesman Constructionman Jason Noel.

The Assistant Officer in Charge of CSFE Det SAFB, Senior Chief Construction Electrician Joseph Johnson, noted that service projects like the Special Olympics are just one of the ways Seabees stay involved in the community.

"The Seabees have a strong heritage of compassion for others," said Johnson. "We're all proud of our students and staff that volunteer to spend their time doing events like this. It not only shows that their spirits are in the right place, but that we have a strong set of future leaders joining our ranks, which will keep our legacy alive."

Student volunteers echoed the sentiments of Johnson and appreciated what their services added to the event.

"Being a part of the Special Olympics was a humbling experience," said Constructionman Utilitiesman Sydney Thorne. "Seeing the athletes all excited to receive a medal around their neck, regardless of finishing position, made me remember to always cherish the little things in life."

For more information on the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Learning Site Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base, visit their website:
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