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    U.S. Servicemembers visit Liberty Children’s Home during Beyond the Horizon 2017

    BTH 2017 Community Relations Event

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Fredrick Varney | Sgt. 1st Class Eric Ritchey, a team leader with the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion,...... read more read more

    Not even the inclement weather was able to put a damper on the spirits of the children living at Liberty Children’s Home in Ladyville, Belize as Servicemembers visited April 18, 2017, to lend a helping hand during a community relations event as part of Beyond the Horizon 2017.

    The task force’s information operations cell coordinated the volunteer effort that included a wide range of helpful and needed services and activities.

    Servicemembers spent their day removing safety hazards from the property, playing a variety of games with the children and providing basic medical examinations.

    “There was a low hanging tree over one of the housing units and we decided to cut it down and get it out of the way,” said Spc. Rudy Sneed, a shower and laundry specialist with the 452nd Quartermaster Company, an Army Reserve unit based in Scottsdale, Arizona. “We were afraid the tree might fall and cause serious damage to the property.”

    Michael Burkhardt, an American missionary with Ladyville Baptist Church, attended the community relations event and assisted Servicemembers with the tree removal process.

    “This has been a great day to be here with the troops and be able to get some projects done,” said Burkhardt. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

    Burkhardt said removing the hazardous trees had been a top priority over the last two missionary trips, but they didn’t have the manpower to accomplish the project.

    Capt. Julio Vargas, a chaplain with the 448th Engineer Battalion, an Army Reserve unit from Puerto Rico, brought his travel guitar to the event and played several songs for the children.

    “The number one priority for today’s event was interacting with the children,” said Vargas. “We sang songs together and ate popcorn, which I think the children really enjoyed.”

    Once the outdoor events and activities had concluded, several healthcare providers from the Utah National Guard Medical Command arrived to provide free medical check-ups for the children.

    “We wanted to come over here and provide basic physical exams for the children,” said Maj. Samantha Madsen, the task force medical planner, with Utah MEDCOM. “Our providers are checking for irregular curvatures of the spine, providing eye exams, and evaluating issues related to the ears, nose and throat.”

    Before departing for the day, Servicemembers presented the children with a Beyond the Horizon 2017 gift bag that contained notebooks, notepads, pens and toys.

    Sgt. 1st Class Eric Ritchey, a team leader with the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion, helped to pass out the gift bags during the presentation.

    “It’s always good to do something for people, but when you see those smiles on the faces of the kids it really means so much more about what we do as representatives of the U.S. military,” said Ritchey.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.18.2017
    Date Posted: 04.20.2017 20:54
    Story ID: 231075
    Location: LADYVILLE, BZ 

    Web Views: 236
    Downloads: 3
    Podcast Hits: 0

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