By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin J. Steinberg, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Volunteers from around Naval District Washington (NDW) joined in support of this year's Special Olympics Armed Forces Day at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., May 20. The event was part of the 2015 Special Olympics Summer Games.
The event included volunteers from every military branch and from a variety of military ranks, both enlisted and officer. Along with supporting the event by providing their efforts, such as athlete escorts, staging personnel and finish line personnel, military personnel also participated in the Special Olympics Armed Forces Day Joint Service 4x100 meter relay.
Each relay team consisted of two active duty military personnel and two Special Olympics athletes. Team Navy was comprised of NDW Commandant Rear Adm. Mark Rich, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens and Special Olyimpians Darryl Meadows and Douglas Medrono with team Navy finishing in 2nd place, earning silver medals.
"Since the very existence of the Navy, volunteer service has been something that we've cherished and we believe to be very important and it's no different today," said Stevens. "We're very, very pleased and happy to be here and be part of this Special Olympics event."
Stevens participated to not only show support but to be inspired as well.
"When I come to events like this and see the challenges that young men and women have overcome, it's inspiring," Stevens said. "So I come here to support the event but also to be inspired myself."
Other Sailors echoed the MCPON's sentiments.
"I've never done an event like this before," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Angela Davis, from Orlando, Florida. "It feels great giving back to the community."
Special Olympics is an international organization that encourages and empowers people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. The movement has evolved from a few hundred athletes to having millions in more than 170 countries around the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.