NEWS | May 23, 2018

U.S. Army Soldiers compete alongside Kuwaiti neighbors at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club

By Staff Sgt. Tina Villalobos Task Force Spartan

More than 50 Task Force Spartan soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Nezar Mohammed takes a selfie along side Tahani Hussein (right) with a group of Task Force Spartan U.S. Army soldiers. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of  “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28th Infantry Division were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9.
More than 50 Task Force Spartan soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Nezar Mohammed takes a selfie along side Tahani Hussein (right) with a group of Task Force Spartan U.S. Army soldiers. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28th Infantry Division were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9.
More than 50 Task Force Spartan soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Nezar Mohammed takes a selfie along side Tahani Hussein (right) with a group of Task Force Spartan U.S. Army soldiers. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of  “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28th Infantry Division were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9.
180509-Z-VS904-002
More than 50 Task Force Spartan soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Nezar Mohammed takes a selfie along side Tahani Hussein (right) with a group of Task Force Spartan U.S. Army soldiers. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28th Infantry Division were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9.
Photo By: Master Sgt. Daniel Palermo
VIRIN: 180509-Z-VS904-002
More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce.

 

"Every time a Soldier is involved with the local community, we learn more about one another as human beings."Maj. Amana Harrah, 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan

 

“Getting our Soldiers out in the community allows them to develop friendships and get involved with relationship building on a one-to-one basis,” said Maj. Amanda Harrah, deputy civil affairs officer for the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan. “Every time a Soldier is involved with the local community, we learn more about one another as human beings. We share, as people, what it is to face similar joys and challenges. Our Soldiers also create an impression of us as Americans and allow us to develop bonds with our Kuwaiti neighbors that might not otherwise be possible.”

Soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan, battle to the basket in a wheelchair basketball game at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Continuing the legacy of  “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
Soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan, battle to the basket in a wheelchair basketball game at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Continuing the legacy of “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
Soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan, battle to the basket in a wheelchair basketball game at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Continuing the legacy of  “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
180509-Z-VS904-003
Soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan, battle to the basket in a wheelchair basketball game at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. Continuing the legacy of “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
Photo By: Master Sgt. Daniel Palermo
VIRIN: 180509-Z-VS904-003
The outing allowed both Kuwaiti and American participants to have some competitive fun together, with an opportunity for cultural learning, as well as an understanding of how persons faced with challenges adapt, overcome, and shine. A can-do spirit was present in all of the events, but particularly obvious in the arena of fencing and basketball.

“We had an excellent time! It was really great for the Soldiers to put a face to our mission and gain an understanding of why we’re here,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Strathmeyer, command sergeant major for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28 ID. “This was my first time playing wheelchair basketball. I am a tall person, but it doesn’t matter how tall you are in this game, because we’re all the same height sitting down. I learned that maneuverability in the chair is different. Trying to navigate and move with other wheelchairs is very challenging too. Shooting is more difficult because you cannot use your core or your legs.”

Spc. Ashley Standard, a human resources specialist for the 28 ID, was also caught off guard by the additional challenges.
 
 
 

"...the people we played basketball with were particularly positive, even though they faced many challenges."Spc. Ashley Standard, 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan


Capt. Nick P. Branoff, an aeromedical evacuation officer for the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan volleys the ping pong ball back across the table against a member of the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club in a game of table tennis. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of  “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
Capt. Nick P. Branoff, an aeromedical evacuation officer for the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan volleys the ping pong ball back across the table against a member of the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club in a game of table tennis. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
Capt. Nick P. Branoff, an aeromedical evacuation officer for the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan volleys the ping pong ball back across the table against a member of the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club in a game of table tennis. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of  “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
180509-Z-VS904-022
Capt. Nick P. Branoff, an aeromedical evacuation officer for the 28th Infantry Division, Task Force Spartan volleys the ping pong ball back across the table against a member of the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club in a game of table tennis. More than 50 Task Force Spartan Soldiers participated alongside their Kuwaiti neighbors in sporting competitions at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club, May 9. The Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in wheelchair sporting competitions such as basketball, fencing, table tennis, and bocce. Continuing the legacy of “Every Soldier is an Ambassador,” a program to encourage interactions between Americans and Kuwaitis, Soldiers of the 28 ID were among a combined group of more than 100 Kuwait and U.S. Army athletes participating in sporting events held at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club.
Photo By: Master Sgt. Daniel Palermo
VIRIN: 180509-Z-VS904-022
“I went there expecting to have a good time, and I really did,” said Standard. “It surprised me that moving around in a wheelchair is extremely hard to do at first. I learned that the Kuwaiti people are very positive in general, and the people we played basketball with were particularly positive, even though they faced many challenges.”

The athletes played late into the evening and wrapped up their competitions with group photos and an exchange of tokens of appreciation between the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club and U.S. Army Task Force Spartan players.

“I tried my hardest to win, but the competition was fierce!” said Master Sgt. Daniel Palermo, chief public affairs noncommissioned officer for the 28 ID. “Although my fencing competitor, Abdullah Al-Haddad, beat me in every challenge, I still had an awesome time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”