By Spc. Christen BestApril 6, 2009
Amidst the laughter of children, music provided by the USO and a barbeque, the Soldiers of 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division found time to relax from everyday tasks and enjoy time with friends and family in an afternoon focused on the bringing the brigade family together, April 3 at Soldiers' Field, Camp Casey.
The 1HBCT Family Day event included activities for Soldier's families, such as bouncy gyms, Easter egg coloring, face painting, kite flying, and an Easter egg hunt. Soldiers without families there were hardly left out with activities directed toward everyone, such as the impressive demonstrations by the 2nd Infantry Division Tae Kwon Do team and the Traditional Korean Folk Band, music, food, and static displays of 2ID equipment.
"My boys are a little older, but they liked the jumping area and the static display," said Lt. Col. Gordon Richardson, the commander of 1st and 15th Field Battalion, who brought his wife and two sons to the event. "It was nice that we had that (the static display) out there because they could see some of the equipment that we use. They also enjoyed the presentations, the 2ID Tae Kwon Do Team and the Korean Folk Band."
For Soldiers whose families are too far away to be able to attend, the 1HBCT Family Day still held a great deal of value by allowing them to spend time with each other, with their NCOs, and with their officers in a non-job related capacity.
"It's good that people are able to have their families here and I think a lot of Soldiers feel the same way," said Pfc. Kimberly Banathy, an intelligence analyst for Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team. "Personally, I don't have a lot of family back in the States, so this is now my family. My NCO's and the other Soldiers here are my family."
The Soldiers were able to indulge in the camaraderie the event encouraged and also in the moral boost of having a work day off. The 1HBCT Family Day was a welcome reward to the dedicated effort put forth during the week by the entire brigade.
"The event has gone very well," said Richardson. "A lot of people are still around so I think that they are enjoying themselves. This is great for the Soldiers to have a day to relax, because we work hard. It's also nice to have the families involved so they can see us relaxed."