Story by: 1st Lt. Alicia Lacy

Posted: July 31, 2015

Pvt. Kamiya Smith, 18, of Houston and Pfc. Stephen Rhodes, of College Station, with the Texas Army National Guard's Recruit Sustainment Program volunteer at the boys high jump competition July 31, 2015, at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's Summer Games in College Station. About 75 Texas Guard's RSP warriors and the TXARNG's Recruiting and Sustainment Command supported the annual, five-day sporting event that hosted hundreds of athletes from around the state. (Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Alicia M. Lacy/Released
Pvt. Kamiya Smith, 18, of Houston and Pfc. Stephen Rhodes, of College Station, with the Texas Army National Guard's Recruit Sustainment Program volunteer at the boys high jump competition July 31, 2015, at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's Summer Games in College Station. About 75 Texas Guard's RSP warriors and the TXARNG's Recruiting and Sustainment Command supported the annual, five-day sporting event that hosted hundreds of athletes from around the state. (Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Alicia M. Lacy/Released

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Command brought the force to support the 2015 Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Games of Texas July 30-Aug. 3, 2015, in College Station and Bryan.

For five days, thousands of Texas athletes and their supporters converged upon the two cities to compete in the state’s biggest multi-sport event. 

To support such a large event, coordinators enlisted the help of their partners from the TXARNG and its Recruit Sustainment Program warriors to help manage the chaos at two of the games’ biggest events – track and field and swimming.

“We were really stressed planning this event, knowing that having volunteers would be our No. 1 issue,” said Kelly Kelbly, city of College Station recreation manager and Games of Texas coordinator. 

But the support of the TXARNG, Kelbly said helped alleviate some of the strains that came with planning such a behemoth event.

“As we developed a relationship with the Guard, it’s knowing the dependability we have on the volunteers and it takes some of the stress from the staff,” Kelbly said. “It takes 600 volunteers, 200 staff, a couple hundred liaisons, and so knowing the dependability of the Guard handling our biggest two events, track and swimming, it takes all the pressure off of us.”

Additionally, the TXARNG’s work at the event demonstrated the presence of the Texas Guard, not just in emergency or combat situations, but also in community events such as the TAAF Games of Texas to celebrate Texas athletes.

“It’s exciting and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to volunteer here so everyone can see that the National Guard helps in combat and also the civilian side,” said Pvt. Kamiya Smith of Houston, a human resource specialist assigned to the RSP. “We’re here to help and serve when they need us.”
This is the second year the recruiters have supported the event.

“Last year, we generated more than 200 leads, which is good,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Strelsky, a TXARNG recruiter.

 

For the next two years, the games will move to McAllen, but will return to the Brazos Valley area in 2018-2019, and coordinators will keep the Guard in mind when they begin planning.

 

“We look forward to working with them again,” Kelbly said.