By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterApril 6, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Saturday was April Fool's day, but the deals were no joke as hundreds flocked to the Fort Rucker Festival Fields for a chance to get their hands on deals that can't be found in any store.
The Fort Rucker Spring Outdoor Yard Sale and Flea Market returned to give people the opportunity to not only purchase gently used goods, but give military families a chance to get rid of unneeded items to earn a bit of extra cash, according to Katie Oskey, Fort Rucker special events coordinator.
"This event is fun and beneficial for both the sellers and the shoppers," she said. "The sellers have the opportunity to do some spring cleaning of their household goods by displaying and selling them in a controlled environment with a built-in customer base. And thanks to their spring cleaning efforts, the shoppers get their pick of gently used household goods, clothing and much more at a fraction of department store prices."
For Catherine Davis, military spouse, the yard sale was an opportunity for just that.
"It's been so great to be able to come together with all of these other families, families that I know, and just have a community-type yard sale," she said. "We've been holding on to so much stuff that we've accumulated over the years, and even though we aren't moving soon, I know that the time will come before we know it, so we need to be able to get rid of a lot of things that we don't use anymore.
"That's why I think this event is so great," she continued. "As a military family, you kind of never know when you're going to be told you have to move, so being able to not only unload a lot of this stuff, but make some money in the process helps us out so much."
The benefit isn't only for military families, though, since the surrounding communities get a chance to browse wares from all over at prices that can't be found in any store.
"This is something that I come to check out every time they have it here [on Fort Rucker]," said Camillia Parker, civilian from Enterprise. "You really never know what you're going to find because these military families come from all over the world. They're coming here from Europe and Asia, and a lot of times they bring with them some really exotic things, so it's almost like you're doing a little bit of international shopping."
Parker said some of the most interesting items she's found have been at yard sales, but it's not just the treasures that make her feel happy, but the fact that she's able to help out families, as well.
"This is something that really helps out military families, I think," she said. "I know they have to move around a lot and that can get really stressful for them -- I can't imagine having to relocate as much as they do.
"With all of that moving I can imagine that there are lots of things they can't take with them, and then again a lot of things they'll need to buy when they get to their new home," she said. "So, it makes me feel good knowing that I can help them a little bit in return for everything they are sacrificing for us."