'Mustangs' host Christmas party, build family morale
December 19, 2012
FORT HOOD, Texas -- In keeping with the spirit of family and the Cavalry tradition, 1st Battalion "Mustangs," 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hosted a battalion-wide Christmas party titled: Mustang Winter fest, Dec. 11, here.
Approximately 1,000 Mustang Soldiers and Family Members enjoyed many Winter fest activities including: Christmas movies, food, holiday desserts, children's coloring stations, craft tables, the reading of The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas and a visit from Santa Claus, said 1st Lt. Linsey Davis, one of three organizers for the party.
Keeping with the Cavalry tradition, many Mustang Soldiers wore their Stetsons and Santa arrived on a M1A2 Abrams main battle tank Davis added. Other party events included a chili, dessert and ugly sweater competition, with prizes awarded to first and second place in each event.
As with any Christmas party, events only enhance the real meaning of the gathering.
"(The party) is more than having fun, it's about getting everyone in the battalion together to celebrate as a family," Jennifer Kinkead, spouse of Mustang commander, Lt. Col. Matthew Kindead, said.
"We want to be that family for those who could not go home to celebrate the holidays with their families," Jennifer added. "Provide some relief for the Soldiers through what could be a stressful time of year."
Celebration is reminding the Soldiers and their loved ones, we as a battalion are family too, Matthew explained. We want to build and keep Soldiers, Families' morale and spirit up.
"Speaking with spouses throughout the night, they relayed to me how grand the party was, with most of them never being to a unit activity on such a large scale."
Jaclyn Jackson, from Louisville, Ky. and spouse of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Jackson, said she was excited to attend, giving her the chance to mingle and get to know other families within the battalion.
"The party was enjoyable and very beneficial for the families and interaction with each other," Jeremy, Mustangs master gunner, explained. "I think (my family) enjoys dad's work events."
Jackson's children had their own take on the fun, with Jeremy Jr., 8, said the greatest part of the evening was seeing his friends while his sister Sierra, 10, simple said with a smile "the hot chocolate."
Additionally, junior Soldiers were able to get to know their leadership on a personal level, Matthew said. "It's good for the Soldiers to interact with their leadership, to talk about life and gauge their morale."
We want the Soldiers and Families to enjoy their holidays and remember the Mustang leadership is here for them and "we care," he said.