YOMITAN, Okinawa, Japan- One of the most enjoyable things to do while you are stationed overseas is to participate in local community events and on July 28, 22 soldiers and family members from the 10th Regional Support Group participated in the Annual Sobe Ward Sports Day in Yomitan.
The day was kicked off with an opening ceremony and warm up stretches known by all Japanese as the "Radio Stretch." The day was full of fun track and field events that the local community and Soldiers from 10th RSG competed in. The winners of each event will compete against other villages on Okinawa to represent their prefecture at a similar competition on the main island of Japan.
For the last seven years the Army has participated in the Sobe Ward Sports Day but does not compete for spots at the next higher level competition. The Soldiers participate just to have a fun day with the community.
"My favorite part of today was just being part of the community and actually having interaction with the locals," said Sgt Justin Bradley, a mechanic for 10th RSG and native of Omaha Ne. "When we first started off it took a little while to get into conversation with them, but once we did it was fun from there. They are very nice and generous people."
"This was my first time participating in an event like this and you shouldn't be hesitant to do events like this, the people are really nice," said Spec. Deborah A. Johnson, an information systems specialist for 10th RSG. "My favorite parts of the day were hanging out with the kids, they were fun and watching the older people race; you would never see old people in the states run that fast. Some of the participants were in their 70s and they were beating some of the young guys."
So all in all even though none of the soldiers walked away with a trophy or first place they went home with something more worthwhile, an experience and memory of a fun day with the local citizens of Yomitan.