Health & Safety

May 9, 2014

Different abilities unite community

Tags:
Staff Sgt. N.B.
432nd Wing, 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Children competing in the 50-meter race pass the Nevada Special Olympics torch at Cheyenne High School in Las Vegas May 1. More than 240 Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases volunteered their time during the two-day event to help unify the community and set an example through fitness and sports play.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — It’s easy to fall in love with friendly competition. So easy, in fact, that we sometimes forget that it’s just competition.

For some, competition isn’t about scoring the most points or crossing the finish line first, it’s about enjoying the game itself.
For the more than 2,000 athletes, coaches, supporters and Airman volunteers attending the Nevada Special Olympics at Cheyenne High School in Las Vegas, the experience went beyond winning the gold.

“The opportunity to help out the local community is an experience that will last forever,” said Senior Master Sgt. Brian LeClair, 99th Medical Surgical Operations Squadron superintendent and Special Olympics volunteer coordinator. “Working with special needs children strikes a chord in your heart and leaves volunteers with way more than they realize, which is why we encourage our Airmen to participate in these events.”

More than 240 Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases volunteered their time during the two-day event to help unite the community and set a good example through fitness and sports play.

“We love working with the Air Force,” said Harry Mong, Nevada Special Olympics Sports Director. “They set the example for the younger generation since these events take place at local high schools. I know that the kids participating enjoy spending the day with some of our local heroes.”

Ethan Jauregui, seven, a Goldfarb Elementary School student, places his hand over his heart while Las Vegas Metro Police Officers salute during the opening ceremony of the Nevada Special Olympics at Cheyenne High School in Las Vegas May 1. More than 1,900 special needs athletes from 40 local schools attended the two-day event
and participated in various track and field events.

Since being founded in 1968, the Special Olympics have been dedicated to empowering adults and children with intellectual disabilities through sport. Although they make up the largest disability group in the world, those with challenges are often left feeling isolated and alone.

That’s something one Airman says he won’t stand to see happen.

“It’s awesome to come out here and be a part of the community at such a great event,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Cox, 57th Maintenance Operations Squadron precision guided missiles crew chief. “I’m a people person and I love kids, so being able to show them they are important and aren’t left out or different is important to me.”

Airmen, along with volunteers from other local businesses, helped coach, keep score, and encourage the children participating in various track and field events. For many, this wasn’t their first time volunteering.

“I’ve been volunteering and running this event for the last three years, and every year I leave here with more [excitement] than I planned,” said LeClair. “It’s nice to see the kids again and see how they have grown and changed during the past year.”

Mong expressed his gratitude to the men and women of Nellis and Creech for using their limited down time to help further the organization, a gesture that left many glad they did.

Staff Sgt. Brandon Cox, 57th Maintenance Operations Squadron precision guided missiles crew chief, high-fives a girl before she competes in the 50-meter race at the Nevada Special Olympics at Cheyenne High School in Las Vegas May 1. More than 240 Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases volunteered their time during the two day event to help unite the
community and set an example through fitness and sports play.

“This is my first time volunteering here, and I’m truly happy that I was able to come out and make a difference,” said Capt. Robert Dunphy, 432nd Maintenance Squadron operations officer. “This is something that I will definitely do again in the future.”

People from more than 40 schools from the Las Vegas and surrounding area attended the annual event, and for one mother the day was particularly special.

“This is one of the only times my son sees military people, so it’s nice and fun for him to experience this,” Glorialetty Jauregui, mother of Ethan, seven.

Ethan was among those chosen to light the torch with local law enforcement personnel during the opening ceremony, signifying the start of the games.

“It’s great to see everyone come out and support the kids,” said Jauregui.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
square

Luke Lightning strikes at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway for a training exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev., April 15. Maintaine...
 
 

CSAF discusses Air Force’s need to reset

WASHINGTON — The Air Force Association hosted its monthly Air Force breakfast with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III in Arlington, Virginia April 2. During his speech, Welsh addressed many topics and issues in today’s Air Force, including hitting the “reset button.” “For the last couple of years what we have...
 
 

Ten seconds later, that picture still exists

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — There is a conversation many teenagers have had with their parents or friends, me included. “Hey, don’t worry! It’ll be fine; all of the pictures I send disappear after 10 seconds. That’s how Snapchat works.” While many teenagers only share their silly, cross-eyed, quadruple-chinned faces with friends, there are a...
 

 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — Failing the Air Force physical training test was my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak...
 
 

‘Eye’ see you

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Lisa Winkelman, 99th Aerospace Medicine Squadron optometry technician, simulates taking a vision test at the Optometry Clinic on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 15. Getting an eye exam is important to ensure eye vision and pressure is good and in the normal range. For...
 
 

Nellis AFB goes green for Earth Day

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The first Earth Day occurred April 22, 1970, and was introduced by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day in the U.S. Across the Air Force today, installations are taking aggressive strides...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin