By Titus Ledbetter III, Belvoir EagleJanuary 9, 2014
The Fort Belvoir youth community sang Christmas carols and enjoyed fellowship during the annual Breakfast with Angels event Dec. 24, at the Religious Education Center.
Thirty young adults dressed as angels, served breakfast and ran the activities in the Heavenly decorated REC.
About 250 people participated in the event, according to Sister Michael Bochnowski, garrison director of religious education.
"I think that people were happy," Bochnowski said. "They came freely. Nobody told them that they had to get up at 8 o'clock in the morning on Christmas Eve morning to come. And, yet, they came realizing what this was all about."
The Garrison Chaplains Office has sponsored the event for more than two decades. It was originally created to give children staying on post for Christmas Eve an alternative to watching cartoons in the morning, according to Bochnowski. All adults in attendance had to be accompanied by a child.
The Breakfast with Angels event featured Christmas-themed crafts and face-painting. Participants sang a variety of Christmas carols, including "Jingle Bells." The Chaplains Office served scrambled eggs, sausage, croissants, chocolate milk and juice.
Maj. Dan Wagner, Pentagon Office of the Chief, Legislative Liaison, attended the event with his wife, Julie, and their children, Jonas, 12; Meghan, 9; Bridget, 7; and Griffin, 3. Maj. Wagner said his children had fun at the event.
"They are doing face-painting and crafts," Wagner said. "We are doing everything."
Wagner and his Family attend Belvoir Chapel and said the Chaplains Office inspires a lot of children on the installation.
"I think they are doing a great job," he said. "We really appreciate all that they do."
Valli Moore completed a puzzle along with her daughter Zoe, 3, as they ate breakfast and listened to the Christmas carols. She lives on post and just arrived in November.
Moore said she enjoyed Breakfast with Angels.
"It really gets you in the festive mood to enjoy the season," she said. "They are really doing a great job."
The event is always a lot of fun, according to Laila Cruz, 22, of Bethesda, Md. She dressed up as an angel to welcome people to the event and has been helping out for nine years. Cruz said she enjoyed the Christmas carols.
"That is one of my favorite parts of Breakfast with Angels," she said. "I love the singing. They always play the classic Christmas songs."
Aubrey Franco, 17, of Lorton, served food at the event and was one of the angels. She also liked hearing the Christmas carols.
"It feels good," she said. "You get to sing along with them and feel the real meaning of Christmas."