: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Community
Browse Community Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Handicapped Society visits Kadena

By: Kotoko Chinen

Date Posted: 1999-04-02

Thirty-six members of the Kadena/Yomitan Parents Protecting the Handicapped Society had the pleasure of visiting Kadena Air Base March 27, courtesy of an invitation by The Kadena Airman Leadership School. The group was accompanied by three staff members and nine guardians, and according to all reports thoroughly enjoyed a tour of the base and a barbecue with American students. The invitation to the society was initiated by the 45 students of Class 99-D of the Airman Leadership School, in cooperation with Flight Chief Master Sergeant Louis T. Vance, and Technical Sergeant Mark Reed, in an effort to enhance community relations with their Okinawan neighbors. The Airman Leadership School conducts seven classes a year and each class is encouraged to give their time and take on a leadership role in the community as a fundamental principle of leadership. In the past, the school has undertaken community activities such as picking-up trash along Route 58, visiting local orphanages, painting and refurbishing local schools, childcare centers and youth centers. The Japanese guests, aged from four to 35 years old, arrived at the base wearing identical blue T-shirts and a tag with their names written in English. When first introduced to a group of American students they were quite shy. Not surprising though, as for many guests this was not only their first visit to a U.S. Military facility, but also their first close contact with Americans. But according to the American students, their shyness was only temporary. "Yes, they seemed shy at first," said Jennifer Jeske, a student volunteer. "But soon after, we began to play in the playground together and it was fun."

A sudden downpour sent everyone scurrying to the Airman Leadership School auditorium. And this proved to be a great surprise for the guests, particularly when a clown, actually Class 99-D student Jon Joyce, appeared and entertained them with a balloon show. The excited cries were heard as the clown handed a pink dog, yellow flower, and blue airplane to each guest. "They're really having a good time with the American students. Some of them are usually very shy and quiet. But, they are seem much more energetic than usual," said guardian Misako Furugen.

After an enjoyable barbecue lunch, the Japanese guests were escorted to the Aircraft Static Display and Habu Hill. Before the guests left the Airman School, students volunteers were presented with hand-made crafts that they had made with staff and parents. Guest Sadako Yoshido summed up the day with feelings I'm sure everyone shared. "This was my first visit to the U.S. base," enthused Sadako. "I was surprised about how large the base is and I really liked the hot dog that I ate at lunch."

Browse Community Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

JU FacebookOkistyleOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker