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Johnson cadets support 12th annual Buddy Walk

The “Lady Bird” Johnson High School Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) volunteered to support the 12th Annual Down Syndrome Association of San Antonio’s local “Buddy Walk” held at Heroes Stadium on Saturday, September 29. The “Buddy Walk” is a nationally acclaimed event that helps provide awareness, as well as, support for families and children diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Thirty-one Cadets, two JROTC instructors, and three parent boosters of the “Exemplify Success – Nothing Less” Battalion braved the intermittent downpours to volunteer and support one of their own, Cadet Private First Class Billy Cade, in San Antonio’s annual “Buddy Walk.”

“The best part about this volunteer event was the opportunity to 'buddy' walk with the children and their families who are touched by Down Syndrome,” said Cadet First Lieutenant Mirella Torres.

The rains temporarily stopped when the cadets arrived by 6:30 a.m. at Heroes Stadium to help direct traffic and to set up the multiple venues, including several moon bounces and activity booths. After setup, the cadets operated multiple stations and activities booths. The cadets not only assisted in the operations, but also interacted with the children as well. They ensured their safety and played with them within the moon bounces, helped them make sun visors, and became their “Buddy” for a day.

“The kids were absolutely amazing,” said Torres. “They were so full of life and it was never a boring moment. The cadet volunteers had nothing but good things to say about their experience and it is volunteer moments like this that really makes the work worthwhile.”

Since Johnson’s opening five years ago, the Cadets have provided the Color Guard for the annual “Buddy Walk.” The ‘Open’ Color Guard consisting of Cadet Billy Cade, Cadet Corporal Ricky Williams, Cadet Corporal Kiara Searles, and Cadet Private Joshua Hymes had the honors to present our Nation’s Colors and to lead the “Buddy Walk” around Heroes Stadium. This was the second time in as many years for Cadets Cade and Williams to lead the “Buddy Walk” Color Guard.

“The cadets were proud to follow their “Buddy” Billy Cade in the walk, and provide encouraging support for our Color Guard’s march around the stadium," said Cadet Major Vincent Padilla.

“The Jaguar Battalion was on top of everything,” said Torres. “But the highlight in support was for our own the Open Color Guard and our ‘Buddy’ Cadet Billy Cade.”

The rain returned and caused an earlier than scheduled closure to this worthy event; however, the rain did not deter the cadets from assisting in the tear down and the loading of equipment.

“It was awesome to help tear down the moon bounces at the end of the day with the rain providing some relief from the heat,” said Cadet Sergeant First Class Guyton. “Our efforts definitely helped everyone with the tear down before the heaviest rainfall set in.”

“The “Buddy Walk” was a definite success thanks to all the volunteers that dedicated their time,” said Padilla. “It was by far one of our best volunteer events took take place this year.”

Johnson cadets support 12th annual Buddy Walk

Posted on October 12, 2012