'Warhorse' Soldiers enjoy a night out
March 6, 2013
TRINIDAD, Colo. -- The aroma of fresh pasta, meatballs and baked rolls tingled the senses of Soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, as they entered the Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness and Community Center, Trinidad, Colo., Feb. 28.
The "Warhorse" Brigade transported 50 Soldiers from Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site to Mt. Carmel for an evening away from their normal routine and a home-cooked meal.
"We welcomed the soldiers to come in and get a relief, a break from their usual environment out there on the prairies," said Leo Bonfadini, Wellness Program Coordinator, Mt. Carmel.
Mt. Carmel's idea of wellness is similar to the Army's idea of resiliency, said Bonfadini. The center helps people, and in this case, soldiers, to strengthen their minds, bodies, and spirits.
The staff, some prior service, main intent for the night was the importance of taking care of Soldiers.
"I hope my soldiers realize that when you leave the military there's something you can do to continue serving and helping people," said 1st. Sgt. Tonio Childress, senior enlisted leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT. "And also, we have behavioral health on post and the soldiers can't think that it's a bad thing for them. A lot of times there's a stigma against it and I think in this environment it shows them it's actually good for them."
Soldiers appreciated the meal and knew it would have their body ready to go when training started back up.
"I like the fact that it's a family wellness center so we know the food is healthy and they're supporting healthy soldiers," said Pvt. Candee Wheat, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT. "It shows that Trinidad is very big on trying to support a healthy community."
To the people who work at Mt. Carmel, taking care of wellness starts and ends with taking care of the nation's defenders.
"The Army here is so important for us," said Bonfadini. "This is a wonderful community that has a history of war service. To me, as a retired Lieutenant Colonel, it's like seeing family again. I just forgot how young you all were."