205th MI Bn. teams up with Special Olympics-Hawaii athletes

| May 12, 2011 | 0 Comments
Andi Mo (right) throws the ball after fielding it, as Capt. Tony Banaszak, Headquarters, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, provides encouragement during the Special Olympics-Hawaii softball competition at Wheeler Army Airfield, April 23. (Kayla Overton | U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

Andi Mo (right) throws the ball after fielding it, as Capt. Tony Banaszak, Headquarters, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, provides encouragement during the Special Olympics-Hawaii softball competition at Wheeler Army Airfield, April 23. (Kayla Overton | U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

1st Lt. Brian E. North
205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade

FORT SHAFTER — Soldiers volunteered their time during the Special Olympics-Hawaii events, March 26-April 23.

Twenty-one Soldiers from the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, gave their time to the area and regional competitions, held at Kaiser High School, Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield.

Spc. Rachael Montes, the unit’s community outreach officer, helped coordinate so Soldiers could take part in events ranging from track and field to powerlifting and softball.

During three consecutive Saturdays, the 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde. Soldiers volunteered their support during track and field assignments at Kaiser High School. Volunteers fired the start gun, signaled starts and finishes, and kept time.

“When duties were being called out for volunteers, I knew I wanted the start gun,” said Sgt. James Cowan, noncommissioned officer in charge, Intelligence Section, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde. “With some luck I got it. Luckily, I had a pair of EarPros (hearing protection) in my car, because that little gun sure makes a pop!”

Six of the unit’s Soldiers supported the powerlifting event held in Martinez Gym at Schofield Barracks, April 17. They kept score of the amount of weight lifted, spotted for the athletes and stacked weights.

“Seeing all the weight these guys are lifting makes me want to hit the gym afterward,” said Capt. Micheal John, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde.

Softball was the next event, held April 23. Volunteers acted as announcers, tracked statistics and set up and tore down the site. Spc. Alec Borkowski, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., said his volunteer experience was rewarding and described it as an “excellent” event to participate in.

Christopher Amrhein, son of 1st Sgt. Christoper Amrhein, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., was among the 200 athletes competing at the softball event. He represented the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind, while playing on the Dolphins team that is coached and mentored by his father.

Teams, like the Dolphins, pair special athletes with players from outside the Special Olympics community to foster unity and a spirit of acceptance. The Special Olympics community believes that people with intellectual disabilities can — with proper instruction and encouragement — learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports.

The 205th Military Intelligence Battalion volunteers were among approximately 6,000 volunteers that make these events possible each year.

“It would be impossible to execute events like this without volunteers from units like the 205th MI Bn.,” said Dan Epstein, vice president, Sports and Marketing, Special Olympics-Hawaii.

After the monthlong competition reached an end, the Special Olympics-Hawaii games had taught the volunteers, spectators and competitors a few things about the benefits of physical fitness, community, friendship and courage.

 

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Category: Army Community Covenant, Community

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