HUEHUETENANGO, Guatemala –
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion, on June 7th, participated in a 10k race intended to raise funds for a school project which is part of the exercise Beyond the Horizon 2019.
Beyond the Horizon is an annual exercise that combines medical, dental, veterinary and engineering missions to improve the operational readiness of U.S. Forces, reinforce region stability and interoperability with allied forces.
Maj. Jeremiah Soape, civil affairs chief, Beyond the Horizon, has built a relationship with Hugo Gomez, director of the National Institute of Diversified Education. Soldiers of the 413th and the 344th Psychological Operations Battalion as well as Marines from the 4th Civil Affairs Group were invited to participate in the race as special guests of Gomez.
“Mr. Gomez has invited us to a couple of special events. The most recent one was to participate as special guests in their 10k fund-raising event,” said Soape. “In the spirit of the exercise, when we are offered to participate in any event with any of our partners, we are glad to do it.”
“They have been incredibly welcoming to us, really accepted us and really appreciate what we are here to do and that ways that we are trying to help them,” said Soape.
U.S. Army Spc. Anthony Vega, a 413th civil affairs specialist, participated in the race with the intention of completing a 5k walk instead of the 10k run but his mindset changed once the race began.
“I was going to just do the the 5k walk, but seeing the Guatemalan kids running motivated me to run the whole thing,” said Vega.
Soape said that the money raised by the race will be used to purchase supplies for a technical school that is being built by the units working in Beyond the Horizon.
“It was another great event in a series of great events with a partner that really values our contribution and understands what we are here to do,” said Soape. “We will continue to build and work on that relationship and it will ultimately help us all be more successful together.”