On April 28, Rams Punter Johnny Hekker and team mascot Rampage participated in a virtual reading session with children of active-duty service members at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) and Bob Hope USO.
During the session, Hekker showcased his outgoing personality right from the start and expressed how excited he was to read some of the children's books that he enjoys sharing with his 3-year-old son.
"I am honored to be here with you guys," said Hekker as he gave a virtual wave to the children on his screen. "I am here to celebrate with you and show you that I do in fact know how to read! I'm going to read some of my favorite books, and I brought an awesome one that I love called, Little Blue Truck."
As Hekker flipped through the pages reading and illustrating pictures for the children, he talked them through the thesis of the book, which was an important life lesson about how to surround yourself with people who support you and want the best for you. His book selection emphasized the importance of treating others with respect and kindness. Hekker also took some time at the end to respond to playful questions about the book.
"Why does that toad look so weird?" asked one kid as Hekker positioned the page in front of the camera.
With a smile, Hekker chuckled and responded, "That's one thing about illustrated books, authors get to use their imaginations and create stories and characters in their own way! The toad looks pretty buff too!"
Rams players continue to find meaningful ways to engage the greater LA community virtually due to restrictions on in-person events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March of 2020, Rams players have participated in more than 80 virtual community appearances.
Naval Base Ventura County currently serves as a mobilization site, deep water port, railhead, and airfield. It has three operating facilities, one in Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, and San Nicolas Island.
Bob Hope USO provides services and outreach at centers and military installations across Southern and Central California. It relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations, and corporations to support its activities and is powered by a family of volunteers to accomplish their mission.
For more information about the Rams community outreach efforts, please visit www.theRams.com/community.