• Sgt. Sophia Malone helps her athlete, Hanah Zvaiter, 11, of Rainbow Elementary School, in the assisted 50-meter wheelchair race at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

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    Sgt. Sophia Malone helps her athlete, Hanah Zvaiter, 11, of Rainbow Elementary School, in the assisted 50-meter wheelchair race at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

  • James Talley, USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, volleys a tethered tennis ball with his athlete, Carrie Gore, 14, from Sparkman Middle School, after she competed in the 50-meter dash and the long jump at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

    James Talley, USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, volleys...

    James Talley, USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, volleys a tethered tennis ball with his athlete, Carrie Gore, 14, from Sparkman Middle School, after she competed in the 50-meter dash and the long jump at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

  • John Morgan, USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, escorts Brady Mitchell of Riverton Middle School to his next event at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

    John Morgan, USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, escorts...

    John Morgan, USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, escorts Brady Mitchell of Riverton Middle School to his next event at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

  • Kathy Campbell, wife of Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, commanding general, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, assists special athlete, Willie Jackson from the Arc of Madison County, to the softball throw line during Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

    Kathy Campbell, wife of Lt. Gen. Kevin T...

    Kathy Campbell, wife of Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, commanding general, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, assists special athlete, Willie Jackson from the Arc of Madison County, to the softball throw line during Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

  • Susan McRae, a USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, looks at her niece's competition information to see what events she will be competing in at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

    Susan McRae, a USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, looks...

    Susan McRae, a USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, looks at her niece's competition information to see what events she will be competing in at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

  • Special athlete, Sara Wiegmann, 10, of Mount Carmel Elementary, throws a softball as Billette Kimbrough (far right), USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, encourages her to do her best during Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

    Special athlete, Sara Wiegmann, 10, of Mount...

    Special athlete, Sara Wiegmann, 10, of Mount Carmel Elementary, throws a softball as Billette Kimbrough (far right), USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, encourages her to do her best during Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

  • Billette Kimbrough, a USASMDC/ARSTRAT emlpoyee, stands with her athlete, Sara Wiegmann, 10, of Mount Carmel Elementary, during the recognition ceremony for the softball throw at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

    Billette Kimbrough, a USASMDC/ARSTRAT emlpoyee...

    Billette Kimbrough, a USASMDC/ARSTRAT emlpoyee, stands with her athlete, Sara Wiegmann, 10, of Mount Carmel Elementary, during the recognition ceremony for the softball throw at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

  • Thaddeus Brown (far right), a USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, cheers for his athlete, Jessica Richardson from Riverton Middle School, after she competes in the softball throw at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

    Thaddeus Brown (far right), a USASMDC/ARSTRAT...

    Thaddeus Brown (far right), a USASMDC/ARSTRAT employee, cheers for his athlete, Jessica Richardson from Riverton Middle School, after she competes in the softball throw at Special Olympics Oct. 20 in Huntsville, Ala.

<b>HUNTSVILLE, Ala.</b> - Twenty-five employees and Family members from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command volunteered to assist with the 42nd Special Olympics at Milton Frank Stadium here Oct. 20.

About 400 special-needs athletes of Madison County competed in events such as a 50-meter run, a long jump, a softball throw, and other track and field events.

Each competitor was teamed with at least one volunteer escort to make sure the athlete made it to his or her scheduled event on time. The escorts also cheered for their athletes and gave hugs and high-fives upon completion of events.

Aca,!A"It was wonderful to see the number of volunteers,Aca,!A? said Johnetta Graves, Equal Employment Opportunity Office, USASMDC/ARSTRAT. Aca,!A"It just blew me away. This type of volunteerism just continues to let me know, that no matter what is going bad in this old world, there are still good people doing good things for good causes.Aca,!A?

As a first-year volunteer, Graves said it was a heart warming and humbling experience.

Aca,!A"It really put a smile on my face just watching the participants' glory in their achievements. The young man who I escorted said after each event, Aca,!EoeI WON.Aca,!a,,c Indeed he was a winner no matter where he placed in the competition. All of the participants are winners in my book.Aca,!A?

At the end of each event, the athletes were all recognized by taking their place on the winnersAca,!a,,c platform and receiving a ribbon for their accomplishments.

Graves said, Aca,!A"I encourage everyone who can, to really give participating in the Special Olympics priority consideration the next time the event is held. I know I will be there.Aca,!A?

Perhaps Kathy Campbell, wife of Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, commanding general, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, summed it up best by saying, Aca,!A"What a blessing to be able to be with such a great group of special athletes.Aca,!A?

Page last updated Wed October 21st, 2009 at 13:45