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NEWS | Dec. 16, 2019

Army Reserve Soldiers bring the holiday spirit

By Courtesy Story 1st Mission Support Command

As part of their commitment with local communities in Puerto Rico, Soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve 1st Mission Support Command's 2-348th Training Support Battalion visited the Hogar Niñito Jesus orphanage, and delivered toys and essential items, Dec 7.

"We have a great connection with these children. At their young age, they have gone through very difficult times, and for us they are warriors. From warriors to warriors, we came here to express our admiration to them for their keen sense of resilience. To see how these kids face adversity with a smile, fills our hearts with energy to continue moving forward," said Sgt. 1st Class Onellys Rivera, Human Resources Noncommissioned Officer assigned to the Army Reserve Battalion.

Meanwhile, Ana Santiago, the orphanage's Director of Institutional Development, stated the Soldiers' visit had great meaning for the kids.

"This is an excellent initiative. The visit of these Soldiers had a positive impact in our children, who received them with open arms and a lot of love. This interaction greatly helps our children to develop social skills. It was a magic connection between the Soldiers and the children," said Santiago.

As part of the visit, the Soldiers spent time and played with the children.

"Helping these kids, is to help the future of our island," said Rivera.

With centers around Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and with an estimated economic impact of $285 million dollars, the Army Reserve represents the largest federal U.S. Army command in the Caribbean.

Since 1993, the Hogar Niñito Jesus orphanage offers shelter and protection to newborns up to 7 years old kids, who are victims of abuse, and who have been removed from their homes by the State Department of Family.