By Kaytrina Curtis Fort Stewart Public AffairsMay 20, 2013
FORT STEWART -- Various tents and displays lined the sidewalk around Fort Stewart's Army Community Services' buildings as Army spouses were honored during Military Spouse Appreciation week at ACS' Super Hero Block Parties held at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, May 7 and 9 respectively.
With promises of fun, fitness and fabulous classes, some spouses slipped on their alter-ego superhero outfits and many with their children in tow, joined in the festivities. Information booths from Winn Army Community Hospital, to a Tiny Tot Carnival to a blindfold-Jenga contest brought many smiles all around.
Classes such as "Fitness with Super CrossFit JJ" were offered on the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation stage. Inside of the various ACS buildings other classes offered tips on relaxation, hot monogamy, communication, finance and others.
Children were treated to bouncy houses, a ring toss, photo booths, three-legged races and a prize table.
Central to the event were the pre-recorded special messages from deployed Soldiers, as well as those Soldiers on home soil, who explained why their spouse is a super hero.
Director of ACS, William Lukens, explained the importance of such an event.
"We all know that our spouses are the ones who hold the Family together, while the Soldier is doing their job," he said. "We have been in an era of consistent combat for the past 10 years, and they are truly the glue that holds the Family together while the Soldier is away."
One special spouse and guest speaker for the event, Jajonelle Dejarnette, said he checked different resources out when he and his spouse arrived on post.
"When we got to Fort Stewart in 2010 they had all these cool things," said Dejarnette. "They had ACS, they had military spouse retreats … they had retention, they had Family readiness groups. They had all these great things."
Although Dejarnette longs for male military spouse athletic related events, he is making the best of his situation and embraces his role as a military spouse.
Family Member Dahlia Kong brought along her seven-month-old son Carter to the event in order to meet new people and get out of the house.
"I think it brings a great sense of unity and purpose as well," said Kong, "because you are learning so much information, such as CPR classes that they offer. So I think it's just a great way to come together."
Holly Maranto, a Family Member who recently relocated to Stewart from nearby Savannah, said spouses have to be self-reliant when seeking help.
"You definitely have to find your resources," she said. "It's not just going to come to you. There are definitely a lot of people willing to help you if you are willing to look for the resources."
Maranto echoed Kongs advice and urges spouses to come out to these types of events.
"Where your kids can meet other kids and you can meet other spouses," Maranto said.
Overall, the event, which was weeks in the making, was heralded a success.