News: Law enforcement torch run for upcoming Special Olympics
Story by Charles Steitz
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa Japan – During the joint services Special Olympics Torch Run on Oct. 26th, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Raymond Schultz, 247th Military Police Detachment, office of the Military Police Investigations, carried the torch leading close to 130 military service members representing all law enforcement agencies on island. All soldiers who participated carried the torch from Torii Station to Kadena Air Base.
The Special Olympics Torch Run started in 1981 and has been conducted annually by law enforcement agencies in the United States to help show support for those individuals who have intellectual disabilities to help raise awareness for Special Olympics. Since then the "flame of hope" has always been carried by law enforcement agencies. Soldiers from the 247th Military Police Detachment, Torii Station carried the torch from the Provost Marshals Office, on Torii Station to 18th Security Forces Squadron headquarters on Kadena Air Base; a distance that is a little over 13 kilometers. It is a great and humbling experience to be able to show our support, as an organization, to Special Olympics, but most importantly to the young courageous athletes who overcome their physical and mental disabilities through perseverance to compete during the games," explained Capt. Christopher T. Yankey, 247th Military Police Detachment commander.
During the ceremony U.S. Air Force, Col. Jeffrey Ullmann, 18th Mission Support commander and chairmen of Kadena Special Olympics, explained the significance of recognizing individuals with special needs.
"The spirit of Special Olympics is foremost one of joy, but also courage, pride, and respect,” said Ullmann. “It is the affirmation of the precious, intrinsic value of the human spirit of every single person on the planet, regardless of their physical or mental circumstances. It is also a spirit of acceptance that transcends social and political boundaries…it is a spirit that inspires us all."
Game day is slated for Nov. 2nd on Kadena Air Base. For more information please go to: www.kadenaspecialolympics.org.