FORT BENNING, Ga., (May 22, 2013) -- Hundreds of Soldiers and Families gathered at Stewart-Watson Field for the Fort Benning Carnival May 16-19.

The carnival kicked off with the annual Soldier and Family Appreciation Day in which active-duty Soldiers and military dependents were able to enjoy unlimited rides and entertainment for free on the first day of the carnival.

Military spouse Latoya Carroll said she thought the idea of the carnival was amazing and brought out her two children to participate on the first day.

Carroll said the carnival provided her Family an opportunity to stay on post and spend time with other military children.

"I'm also very thankful that the military is doing something to help encourage the kids to want to do more here on post with the Family. It just makes it so much easier and we appreciate it," she said.