376th ESFS Dedicates New Children's Playground
By Staff Sgt. Candy Knight
376th AEW Public Affairs
MANAS AIR BASE, Kyrgyzstan -- With the whack of a hammer and the cut from scissors, the 376th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron formally completed and dedicated the new Oktobersky Village School #1 children's playground June 22.
The ceremony was attended by Col. Joel "Scott" Reese, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, village leaders and members from the 376th AEW.
The ceremony began with Ms. Galina Tereshyuk, Oktobersky Village mayor, and Colonel Reese, thanking the servicemembers for using their rare days off to plan and construct the playground.
"We thank you and hope we can continue our friendship in the future," Mayor Tereshyuk said.
"To Major (Mark) Anarumo and your crew, great job. Way to stay safe while working hard to make this a better place for the children to learn and develop their physical abilities, and have fun while they're at it," Colonel Reese said.
Servicemembers also received thanks from Mr. Kerimkulov, head of the Alamudun district.
"Job well done," he said. "I hope that you will have more time to do this type of peaceful work, and less fighting."
Amid the cheers of "Spasiba! Spasiba! Spasiba!" which means thank you, Maj. Anarumo thanked the village leaders, the servicemembers who volunteered, most importantly, the children.
"Take care of your playground and enjoy," he said.
The project began in May. Volunteers spent their off-duty time sawing, painting and mixing cement, completing the project in just one month. The village children assisted the volunteers throughout the construction. Hammering nails and screwing screws, the children's constant presence reminded the volunteers why they were there.
"I know that as (the children) watched you build, they've been able to learn from your example of work ethic, sacrifice and community service," Colonel Reese told the Airmen.