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FAP E the bear embraces 15-month-old Alanis Necuze at the Fort Stewart Military Spouse Appreciation Day, May 4. FAP E stands for the Family Advocacy Program Enrichment or is also known as the "happy bear."

FORT STEWART, Ga. - The Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Military Spouse Appreciation Day opened at the Army Community Service Playground, May 4. May marks the month of the Military Spouse Appreciation observance, in which spouses across the nation are recognized for their contributions and sacrifices. The Stewart-Hunter community wants every military spouse to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

The first Military Spouse Appreciation Day was celebrated in 1984, when then President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the observance to honor the contributions of military spouses.

"In lots of ways, our military spouses have really carried the load for our Soldiers," said Col. Kevin Milton, Stewart-Hunter garrison commander, "while they were off doing our nation's business in countries we couldn't spell in 1984 was when we established Military Spouse Appreciation Day."

A collaboration of several facilities assisted with coordinating Military Spouse Appreciation Day. The facilities include Army Community Service, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Operation Home Front.

The event included a number of activities to keep spouses and Family Members busy during the celebration. They were welcome to partake in quilting demonstrations, scrap booking, jewelry making, one-stroke painting, belly dancing, Zumba aerobic and refreshments.

"There are a lot of military wives that are looking for things to do, different events and activities here on post," said Blanca Bouyea, Family Member whose husband is with 549th Military Police Company. "[Military Spouse Appreciation Day] makes me feel appreciated. It lets me know that the military does think about the spouses. It's not always just about the Soldiers but the spouses as well."

Following Col. Kevin Milton's introductory remarks, the Family Advocacy Program Enrichment bear, also known as FAP E, made a pleasant appearance and a fashion show took place. The Family Advocacy Program Enrichment bear greeted children and spouses, and participated in picture-taking; the models presented dresses, skirts, blouses and shoes - all summertime ideas for a warm Georgia day.

In buildings 86 and 87, spouses and Family Members could learn or brush-up on fresh ideas in scrap booking and quilting.

"We just moved here Thursday, and we're new to the military," said Dawn Lawhon, Family Member whose husband is with 92nd Engineer Battalion. "The event makes me feel that spouses are appreciated. When you have to be a mom and a dad at the same time, it can be hard. I have three children, so this makes me feel that we (Army spouses) matter."

Page last updated Thu May 5th, 2011 at 08:59