GAROUA, Cameroon -- In Task Force Darby's efforts to support the Cameroonian military's fight against the violent extremist organization Boko Haram, other humanitarian opportunities often present themselves.
One such opportunity was for a civil affairs-led team from Darby, to provide food, soccer balls and moral support to the boys of Saare Jabbama, which it is a youth rehabilitation center for boys ages eight to 18. The team was made up of 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division; 806th Adjutant General Detachment; Civil Affairs Team 4032; and other service members.
According to Capt. Scott Wyly, the Civil Affairs Team 4032 commander, many of the boys living at the center either can't find jobs, can't find their parents, or are homeless.
"The Civil Affairs team has had a strong relationship with the center for the last couple years and visits the center on a monthly basis. Private donors from the United States frequently send donations for the CA team to give to the children at Saare Jabbama," Wyly said.
Some of the Soldiers cited a love for giving as the motivation behind volunteering for the humanitarian mission.
"Giving to the boys' home was the best feeling for me," said Sgt. Adrian Cordova, a mail clerk assigned to the 806th Adjutant General Detachment.
"It was great to be able to see the excitement and smiles on their faces when we arrived. Playing soccer with the boys was an even greater feeling," Cordova said.
Sgt. John Marshall, who is also a mail clerk with the 806th Adjutant General Detachment, described similar feelings about the visit.
"I wanted to give back to other families and children that are less fortunate than I am," he said. "I feel really blessed to be able to help others in their time of need. I know what it's like to hit rock bottom. So for me, it is a blessing to give back."
Spc. Ryan Worwood of the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment stated his reason is a general love for children.
"I've always wanted to do this since I got here," he said. "I love little kids a lot. So, it was no surprise to my family that I volunteered."