SAN ANTONIO - The air is still, briefly interrupted by the occasional passerby clad in blue or white uniforms. A persistent beeping and humming of distant machines and monitors lingers in the air. The sound mixes with the bright fluorescent rays as it travels throughout the numerous quiet corridors and rooms of the giant facility. An elevator dings as it reaches the seventh floor. The door slides open releasing a boisterous mass of excitement dressed in camouflage and football jerseys that spring into the sanitized environment of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at University Health System Hospital in San Antonio, Texas Jan. 6.More than 30 Soldiers and U.S. Army All-American West players made the special trip to the hospital during their visit to the area in preparation for the upcoming bowl game."It was really important for us to be here and make them happy. We showed them that the people in the community care about them," said Raekwon Davis, a Meridian, Mississippi native and defensive tackle for the west team.The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the nation's premier high school All-American game featuring the best 90 players from around the country competing against one another in an East vs. West game every year at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas."I'm thankful for this opportunity to play in this event it gives me a chance to showcase the hard work and dedication I've committed over the years and also gives me a chance to meet new people and help the community," said Charles Oliver, a Fairfield, Texas native and cornerback for the west team.The Army sponsors the bowl and its related activities as a way to engage local communities and enhance the organizations connection between America and the extraordinary men and women who are our Nation's Soldiers."These opportunities are really important because it lets the country know that we aren't just about being a fighting force we are also a community organization," said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Hernandez, U.S. Army Reserve Recruiter of the Year.The players arrive a week early to practice and meet their new teammates and coaches. They also participate in community outreach engagements partnering up with Soldier mentors throughout the week."This whole event really shows and parallels what the Army is all about, having to come together as a team with people you've just met in order to accomplish great things," said Hernandez.In coordination with the hospital the group got an opportunity to visit and participate in activities while sharing their experiences and stories with many of the children.The players and Soldiers surprised the children of varying ages who were suffering from varying types of illnesses."It was a cool experience that brought a couple tears to my eyes. I hope that these kids can grow up and be like us one day and come back and share their own stories," said Davis."I'm glad we can make a difference in these kids lives and bring them happiness - they were so excited to see us," said Oliver.The players took pictures with the children and signed memorabilia, telling them to watch for their numbers during the game.The group finally made its way back to the elevators leaving their joy and cheer to echo throughout the halls, and taking with them an unforgettable experience.The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played on Saturday, Jan. 9, and will be broadcast live nationally on NBC at 1 p.m. EST..