Rapid City Storm serves Ellsworth

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christina Bennett
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It is dedicated to educating people about the contributions of people with disabilities and the adversity they face within the workplace.

In honor of Disability Awareness Month, the base hosted a volleyball tournament at the Bellamy Fitness Center on Sept. 20. The Rapid City Storm, a Special Olympics sports team was invited to challenge local Airmen to a match.

Guest speaker Donald Bell, the 28th Bomb Wing equal opportunity director, delivered the opening remarks.

“When you see someone like me, don’t think can’t,” said Bell, who has had a physical disability for 5 years. “All any of us want is an equal opportunity to live our lives and do our jobs.”

Bell made it a point to speak about similarities rather than differences and pointed out that everyone needs assistance at some point.

“You don’t have to be disabled to need support,” said Bell. “We struggle sometimes when we don’t ask for help. People let their pride get in the way.”

Bell went on to thank the Rapid City Storm for coming out to compete with the Airmen.

Three teams of Airmen signed up to participate and the winner played the Rapid City Storm for the final game.

“We just wanted to show that when you are inclusive of all people, you can create a bigger and better work force,” said event facilitator Senior Airman Marlana Ryan, a 28th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician.

The game was highly competitive. The Rapid City Storm dominated the first portion of the game, but in the end, the Ellsworth Air Force Base’s home team was victorious.

Team members of the Rapid City Storm were grateful to come out and play.

“It’s nice, it’s fun,” said Kirsten Pfeiffer, a Rapid City Storm team member. “We got to play with people that serve our country and [I] thank you.”