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    2015 Army All-Americans visit hospital

    2015 Army All-American Bowl

    Photo By Spc. Thomas Love | Vincente Segundo a patient at the San Antonio Children's Hospital talks to 2015 U.S....... read more read more

    SAN ANTONIO, TX, UNITED STATES

    12.30.2014

    Story by Pfc. Thomas Love 

    205th Press Camp Headquarters

    SAN ANTONIO– Often when you're not feeling well, there's nothing better than a visit from a friend to bring your spirits up. Thanks to the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, patients at the San Antonio Children's Hospital were visited by the top 90 high school athletes in the country and their Army Soldier Mentors, Dec. 30, 2014.

    Children smiled as athletes and Soldiers passed out Army hats and T-shirts while spending time getting to know each other playing games and talking football at the hospital.

    “It's really an exciting day for our patients,” said Christina Eckert, Public Relations Specialist for the San Antonio Children's Hospital. “Any time we have visitors or guests, it really makes their day.”

    Eckert seemed pleased that the kids had a chance to meet some of the football players and Soldiers.

    “The fact that there is a bowl game and football and that they dedicate this time to come see the kids is really nice, especially around the holidays,” Eckert said.

    Selfless service has always been an essential part of the Army mission and that tradition carries on with not only the Soldiers but the gifted athletes giving their time to these children.

    “We're just coming out to the local community hospital and spending some time with the kids; really just giving back,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Miller from the Center for Initial Military Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

    “Pretty much everywhere we've gone, the players go in and just to see the interaction between the kids and the players is pretty powerful,” Miller said, the Active Duty Drill Sgt. of the Year.

    The interaction with Soldiers is also a new experience for many of these kids and the effects appeared profound.

    “The football players mean a whole lot to them because they get to watch the games and see them on TV but it's an interesting opportunity for them to see us Soldiers because it's not every day that they get to interact with Soldiers from all over the country,” Miller said. “You can really see the kid's faces light up, it means something to them, which is awesome!”

    Many of the children at the hospital could benefit from a visit from their role models.

    “Right now I have a lot of teenage boys, so this event worked out perfectly for my floor,” said Francine Gamez, a child life specialist at the San Antonio Children's Hospital. “These kiddos just love sports, so it's really good to see the football players stop by and bring a smile to their faces.”

    Often the players found it easy to connect with the kids and some have even spent time in similar situations. One running back in particular was eager to engage with his new friends.

    “It got to the point where I had asthma attacks two or three times a week and had to carry an inhaler everywhere I went,” said Johnny Frasier, an Army All-American East team player from Princeton High School, Princeton, North Carolina. “I can relate to what some of these kids are going through.”

    The athletes are encouraged to do community outreach during their stay in San Antonio. Based off the smiles and laughter, the children appeared to have enjoyed the time spent learning from their new friends.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.30.2014
    Date Posted: 12.31.2014 14:52
    Story ID: 151284
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US 

    Web Views: 181
    Downloads: 0
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