Col. Gary Rosenberg, Fort Drum garrison commander, signs the Month of the Military Child Proclamation on April 9.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) senior leaders kicked off the Month of the Military Child celebration April 9 at the Commons.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander; Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt, div- ision senior enlisted adviser, Col. Gary Rosenberg, Fort Drum garrison commander; and Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Oldroyd, garrison senior enlisted adviser, signed the Month of the Military Child proclamation.

The proclamation notes that when Soldiers decide to serve our country, their children serve too. They are not in uniform, but they serve, nonetheless.

Rosenberg thanked everybody for coming out, but especially the children.

"We've got over 18,000 children on this (installation), and 8,100 currently with a parent deployed," he said. "That's a lot of kids that are serving their country as well. My hat's off to all of you, all of you in the room, but especially the kids today."

And this night was all about children. The evening starting with a social hour and dinner that was planned with children in mind -- pizza, chicken nuggets (in the shape of dinosaurs), star-shaped tater tots and other kid-friendly foods.

They also went home after being entertained with a book reading and a puppet show, while their artwork hung on the walls. The artwork, themed "What Makes My Family Strong," featured many patriotic colors and families enjoying different activities together.

When asked what makes his Family strong, Oldroyd credited his wife.

"I see the spark in her when she's around Soldiers and Families," he said.

"It takes a special person to be able to be an Army spouse."

When asked why holding this event was important, Merritt echoed the chief of staff of the Army, saying "the strength of our nation is its Army, the strength of our Army is its Soldiers, and the strength of our Soldiers are their Families."

Page last updated Thu April 18th, 2013 at 00:00