Story by Sgt. Kimberly K. Menzies, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii- Ten Soldiers with 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Pacific, participated as volunteers in Jump Rope for Heart, Feb. 26, 2016, at the Pearl Harbor Elementary School as part of the 94th AAMDC's commitment to community.
"We were here to help get the kids active which helps them learn to keep their hearts strong and healthy starting when they are young," said Sgt. Pete Garcia, the motor noncommissioned officer with the 94th AAMDC who was in charge of the stacking cup relay at the event.
Jump Rope for Heart is a national education and fundraising event sponsored by the American Heart Association and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). Teachers, coaches and mentors show students how to develop heart-healthy habits while being physically active.
The students, kindergarteners through sixth-graders, visited nine different activity stations during the event. The stations included activities such as jumping rope, a stacking cup relay, and a rubber ducky-on-a-spoon relay.
"It was great to see how overjoyed the kids were to be outside and doing fun stuff," said Garcia. "Even some of the teachers from the higher grades were participating in the activities with the kids."
"It was lots of fun being active and spending time with the kids at the school," said Sgt. Geysi Johnson, the property book officer with 94th AAMDC. "It was a great opportunity for us Soldiers to spend time building relationships and helping within our local community."
This was the first time that Soldiers from the 94th AAMDC partnered with Pearl Harbor Elementary School in 2016.
"The kids were all smiles, having fun-running through the activities-but still comfortable around us and willing to share their stories or memories of Servicemembers they know-for many their parents-- or remember," said Johnson.
The kids were not the only ones to enjoy themselves; it was a mutual feeling.
"We enjoyed spending time with the kids," shared Garcia. "We are fun mentors-people who work in a uniform- and more than just the warfighter picture that is projected."