FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- GI Kids Day kicked off with enthusiasm from 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Soldiers and Family Members in the battalion area Aug. 21 on Fort Drum.

An outstanding turnout contributed to the success of the day, with more than 100 children in attendance. Attractions this year included a bouncy house, face painting, dunk tank, static display, physical readiness training, a rock wall, and a knock out a bunker situational exercise training lane.

"This was an excellent event that I could take my Family to, and it's a great way to bring the Polar Bears together," said Spc. Matthew Peoples of A Company.

The "Polar Cubs," as kids are referred to in the battalion, had a great time. Their overwhelming favorite event was the knock out a bunker STX lane. It included navigating through tires, bounding from covered and concealed positions and low crawling under "barbed wire" and ended in the destruction of a hardened structure with simulated grenades. The final obstacle was destroyed more than 1,200 times with Soldiers inside posing as enemy forces.

Juliana Nichols, 5, asked her father, Staff Sgt. Thomas Nichols, "Is this what you do every day, Daddy? Why don't you take me to work more? This is fun!"

The day would not be complete without Soldiers and their children being able to dunk their chain of command. The excitement built as Capt. Ryan David, A Company commander, got in the dunk tank. First up to throw was his own son, who unapologetically, decided to run up and dunk his father, forgetting the softball he was supposed to throw.

"It is always nice to give back to the true backbone of the Polar Bear Nation: our Families,"
David said during the awards ceremony for the children. "They are always there to support us, and without them, we would not be able to maintain such a high level of readiness in our great battalion."

Anninos currently serves as a 4-31 Infantry platoon leader.