FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- To support the many contributions the military family provides for the American Soldier, Fort Jackson has announced Military Family Appreciation Month events throughout November.

"Fort Jackson understands the importance of recognizing military families throughout the year, but especially during November's Military Family Appreciation Month," said Col. Michael Graese, Fort Jackson garrison commander.

Throughout November, military families serving around the world are honored through a variety of observances and recognized for their commitment and the many contributions they make every day in support of the military and the nation. Efforts to recognize the sacrifices of the military family by active, Guard, and Reserve leaders are being joined and supported by DoD organizations to include the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Defense Commissary Agency, and others.

"In 2007, the Army made a promise to Soldiers and their Families that the Army's support would be commensurate to the sacrifices Soldiers and their families make in their service to the nation," said Theresa O'Hagan, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing specialist. "That promise is delivered through quality of life programs, many from Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. As part of that, November is celebrated as Military Family Appreciation Month."

On Fort Jackson, that appreciation will be expressed in a variety of ways, from free activities like games, contests and outdoor activities for the entire family.

"Popular events are always the Family Fun Festival hosted by Child, Youth and School Services, the free brunch, of course, and family bingo," O'Hagan said. "This year, we are bringing back the 'Where on Fort Jackson is GI Joe' contest."

A G.I. Joe toy will be hidden each week somewhere on Fort Jackson, with clues to its location posted on Facebook.

"Once you located G.I. Joe, bring him to the marketing office to claim your Family and MWR bucks," O'Hagen said. "For each day G.I. Joe is not found, a new clue is released on Facebook."

The series of events starts Nov. 3 with a Military Family Appreciation Month Brunch at the NCO Club from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is free for the first 300 military families.

"This year, we are adding a new component with on-post housing, Balfour Beatty," O'Hagen said. "We are rewarding acts of random kindness. Neighbors can nominate each other for acts of kindness committed throughout the year, such as giving a neighbor a ride to work, babysitting the kids, bringing over chicken soup when everyone had the flu -- all acts of kindness big or small. All they have to do is tell Alana Youngblood at Balfour Beatty, and then once a week she, Capt. MWR and Dot Com will pick some folks and go out and reward them for doing good things."

Graese said it is crucial that the contributions of military families not be forgotten.

"These contributions should never be taken for granted," Graese said. "I would like to personally thank every single spouse, child and/ or other family member for their patriotism and spirit that helps 'lift the load' every day."

"We put a lot of effort and thought into our November events and we hope the families enjoy them and the special offers. It's a lot of fun for the participants, and it's a lot of fun for us," O'Hagen said.

Page last updated Thu October 31st, 2013 at 00:00