ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Rock Island, Ill. - The <a href="http://www.ria.army.mil" target="_blank">U.S. Army Garrison-Rock Island Arsenal</a> kicked off the installation's 235th Army Birthday celebration with the reading of this year's <a href="http://www.myarmyonesource.com/ChildYouthandSchoolServices/ArmyBirthday/default.aspx" target="_blank">Army Birthday Book</a> today by Joel Himsl, Garrison Manager, Rock Island Arsenal, at the Child Development Center.

Himsl read the book to a room filled with children, some of whom have a parent serving in the Army. As the activity began, one child said his dad is in Egypt, while others chimed in proudly saying where their mom or dad is also serving the country.

The room quieted as Himsl said, "Today is a very important day. Our Army has turned ... how old do you think the Army is'"

Some sporadic guesses rose from the interested children.

"Two hundred and thirty five," said Himsl.

With that Himsl asked, "Raise your hand if you have a parent in the Army."

Numerous children raised their hands, including Himsl himself.

"Yeah, me too ... my dad was in the Army and I used to be too," said Himsl.

Everyone's attention quickly turned to Himsl's reading of this year's <a href="http://www.myarmyonesource.com/ChildYouthandSchoolServices/ArmyBirthday/default.aspx" target="_blank">Army Birthday Book</a>, which including information about Army Soldiers such as George Washington, how President Abraham Lincoln had the Army fight to keep the country together during the Civil War, how women can do almost every job in the Army, and how important the role of Civilians are to the Army Family.

The event concluded with Himsl, all the children, and the CDC staff saluting the U.S. flag in the room, then the cutting of the Garrison's cake honoring the Army's 235th Birthday.

The Garrison, through Child, Youth & School Services, will continue this year's celebration of the Army's 235th Birthday through the rest of the week to include the following activities.

-Tuesday, June 15 - Patriotic Pathway at School Age Services at 10 a.m., where a giant sundae will be shared between more than 200 people at the Child Development Center.
- Wednesday, June 16 - Patriotic Kits at School Age Services, kids go to Music on the Lawn at both the Child Development Center and School Age Services, as well as a birthday "water party" (i.e. spray grounds) at the Child Development Center.
- Thursday, June 17 - Children will be decorating patriotic cupcakes at School Age Services, while children at the Child Development Center will enjoy a Jump House/Ball House.
- Friday, June 18 - Camp Carnival will delight children at the Child Development Center in the morning and older ones at School Age Services in the afternoon.

Page last updated Mon June 14th, 2010 at 13:30