U.S. Supports Construction of Local Soccer Field

Monsieur le Sous Prefet,
Monsieur le Ministre
Monsieur le chef du village,
Brigadier General Kriesel,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning and thank you all for attending the inauguration of this new soccer field.  It is a great example of the strong Djiboutian – American partnership that occurs at many levels.  This soccer field was built by volunteers of the American military at Chabelley Airfield, through funds made available from a private organization on an American Air Base in Germany.  This soccer field has truly been an international effort!

This field will benefit all of Chabelley Village, giving the youth a fantastic field to play on and providing a place for the village residents to sit, watch, and gather as a community.  In addition, regular soccer matches between the American military and the village youth will continue as an ongoing sign of the robust relationship between Chabelley Village and Chabelley Airfield.

Let me also thank all the Chabelley Airfield military volunteers that have been working on this project since September.  Lieutenant Colonel Mark Cramer and his team helped to make the construction of this field possible, while balancing their busy professional duties.  In particular, these three volunteers went above and beyond in supporting the creation of the soccer field: Master Sergeant Jamone TAYLOR, Master Sergeant Erik LARSON, and Staff Sergeant Carolos ORTEGA.

Sports provide essential vigorous activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Active bodies build active minds and active children become active adults.  This activity fosters friendships, provides life lessons, builds teams, and develops determination and resilience in our communities.

This soccer field is more than a place to play a game, it is a sign of friendship, hope, and personal development.  One day, maybe the next professional Djiboutian national soccer player or doctor or engineer can say this field was the impetus for her or his success.

Thank you all for your work here together and let me wish you a good game!