‘Little Warriors’ train during annual FunFest

| April 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
A 'Little Warrior' navigates an obstacle during the 'Little Warriors FTX' on Weyand Field, March 31, 2018.Over 70 volunteers from across the 25th Infantry Division, Tripler Army Medical Center, USAHC-SB, and the Warrior Transition Battalion supported the events.Photo by: Ramee Opperude, USAHC-SB

A ‘Little Warrior’ navigates an obstacle during the ‘Little Warriors FTX’ on Weyand Field, March 31, 2018.Over 70 volunteers from across the 25th Infantry Division, Tripler Army Medical Center, USAHC-SB, and the Warrior Transition Battalion supported the events.Photo by: Ramee Opperude, USAHC-SB

Story and photos by
Ramee Opperude
U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The first “Little Warriors” field training exercise took place at FunFest on Weyand Field, here, March 31.

The event offered games and activities designed for those with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.

In addition to the obstacle course and battle exercise, the Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics Clinic arranged for static displays and demonstrations of Soldier tactics.

“The event came from our Pediatric neurologist at Tripler (who wanted) to create an event for children enrolled within her Neurodevelopmental Clinic (for muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy),” said Lt. Col. Kathy Presper, deputy commander for Nursing, U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks. “Children enrolled in Maj. Rahe Hiraldo’s clinic often have neuromuscular disabilities. The team came together and recommended that the event include more EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) enrolled children with physical, developmental or mental disabilities.”

Participants of the 'Little Warriors FTX' crouch behind obstacles as they prepare to attack the opposition during the field battle exercise, March 31, 2018.Volunteers and participants rotated between static displays, Soldier demonstrations, an obstacle course and the field battle exercise during the annual Fun Fest event on Weyand Field.Photo by: Ramee Opperude, USAHC-SB

Participants of the ‘Little Warriors FTX’ crouch behind obstacles as they prepare to attack the opposition during the field battle exercise, March 31, 2018.Volunteers and participants rotated between static displays, Soldier demonstrations, an obstacle course and the field battle exercise during the annual Fun Fest event on Weyand Field.Photo by: Ramee Opperude, USAHC-SB

Despite the wet conditions, the Little Warriors successfully navigated the obstacle course and the field battle exercise under the watchful eye of dozens of volunteers from the 25th Infantry Division, the USAHC-SB, TAMC and the Warrior Transition Battalion.

“We are very thankful for the volunteers we have – over 70 volunteers today. Once we were able to get a few to commit, we were able to put this together,” said Sgt. Hugo Zulojeda, noncommissioned officer in charge, Neurodevelopmental Pediatric Clinic.

Military families with a special needs family member, or EFM, often require additional help in meeting the EFM’s needs. To support families with special needs, the Army created the EFMP in the early 1980s.

“These events provide inclusion of children with special needs who may have physical, developmental or mental disabilities to participate within a setting supporting everyone,” said Presper. “Unknowingly, and not maliciously, too often special needs families have been segregated.

Volunteers and participants of the 'Little Warriors FTX" prepare for the field battle exercise on Weyand Field.The Little Warriors FTX allowed those with neurodevelopmental disabilities to participate in games and activities with their families during the MWR Hawaii Fun Fest on March 31, 2018.Photo by: Ramee Opperude, USAHC-SB

Volunteers and participants of the ‘Little Warriors FTX” prepare for the field battle exercise on Weyand Field.The Little Warriors FTX allowed those with neurodevelopmental disabilities to participate in games and activities with their families during the MWR Hawaii Fun Fest on March 31, 2018.Photo by: Ramee Opperude, USAHC-SB

“We would like the EFMP tent to be a yearly presence at the FunFest, improving upon the activities for the special children with participatory themes making it interactive for the families. Special needs families are raising their voices so that we can hear them. They want to be included within the mainstream,” added Presper.

The Army designed the EFMP to be a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-agency program that provides community support, housing, medical, educational and personnel services to military families with an EFM.

Approximately 10 percent of Army families have members with special needs, including spouses, children or dependent parents who require special medical or educational services.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Community

Leave a Reply

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