FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - One of the post's newest units -Task Force Phoenix - started a new tradition with a Family Fun Run at Gerlach Field, Friday.

The run is intended to promote unification of the Phoenix team - both Soldiers and family members, organizers said.

Family fun runs are a great morale boost for Soldiers and families," said Lt. Col. DZ Zink, Task Force Phoenix commander.

"It affords family members the opportunity to be part of some of the daily activities of their Soldier," Zink said.

The early morning physical training included many "Phoenix family" members - spouses, children and dogs.

"For Soldiers, it's an opportunity to spend time with loved ones while getting credit for being at work," Zink said.

The event is something the commander would like to have on a regular basis.
"We would like to try to have them semi-annually; in conjunction with an organizational day," Zink said.

"Command Sgt. Maj. (Angelia) Flournoy deserves credit for making this happen. I approved it and have done them before at other locations, but this event - with our whole task force (Military Police and Engineers) participating - is to her credit," Zink said.

"It's a really great opportunity to get the family members out here, to see what their spouses go through everyday. It's a little bit informal because we have family members out here. It also gives the Soldiers and family esprit de corps among themselves. Most of the spouses come in and they don't know spouses in the other units, so they get to know each other," Flournoy said.

"It's a good step toward the weekend, on the way to our Task Force weekend safety briefing," Flournoy said.

As families ran, jogged and walked their way toward a few days off, the unit laid a foundation for future family-friendly events.

"The unit is new to the post, has new components and is establishing new traditions. With the re-stationing, we gained one engineer rear detachment and one engineer canine company. A family fun run seemed like a good idea," said Capt. Anndea Jordan, 92nd MP Bn., event organizer.

And the idea seemed to work.

"I'm here to support my husband and come along for the fun run. I got an e-mail from the family readiness group and I decided to do it," said Charlynn McGee, spouse.

"I've never done anything like this before, my husband has been in the Army for a year now, and it's good to have time with him in the morning," McGee said.

Soldiers also enjoyed running with their families.

"It was good to be out with my sons, so they could see how we do PT. They loved it; they want to come out here every Friday," said Staff Sgt. Travis Bebee, 92nd MP Bn.