By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterDecember 21, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- With Soldier deployments and constant moves, oftentimes families can find themselves in a single-parent situation, and that's why Fort Rucker strives to ensure single parents on post don't have to go it alone.
With the help of the Fort Rucker Community Health Promotions Council Social Resiliency Work Group initiative, Army Community Service hosted its Single-Parent Family Game Night at the post exchange Dec. 14 with the help of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which provided the venue and food for the evening, according to Joy McCormick, ACS New Parent Support Program and Family Advocacy Program social worker.
"It's so important for parents and children to sit down at the table to play games with one another because of the interaction that happens during that time and the fun it creates," said McCormick. "It stimulates the brain and growth, so there are a lot of things that happen during this time together."
The Single-Parent Family Game Night has become a quarterly event put on by ACS and is now in its second year, with each session becoming increasingly popular, said the ACS social worker.
"Every time we seem to have more and more families, and they all seem to have a good time," she said. "Our partnership with the AAFES and the post exchange food court manager always makes sure we have food, and we get to give games away to the families -- they get to pick a game to take home with them.
This is free for them, so it's great."
Great is just how many of the family members described their time during the game night and said it's something that they're grateful to be able to take part in.
"It's awesome," said Kathrin Meadows, military spouse, whose Soldier is currently stationed in South Korea. "We normally would have dinner and watch a movie, so this is a nice change. It's a great surprise and it's very welcoming. All of these organizations come together and make me feel like they've got us (taken care of)."
"We like to enjoy quality time with them out of the house (with the children," added Marla Arcelay, military spouse. "It makes me happy because they're thinking about us."
For Josephine Maltsberger, military spouse, the event is the second her and her children, Aiden and Annalese, have attended, and they enjoyed it so much they decided to return.
"We came to the first one a few months back and we had a really good time," she said, "so we came back. It's nice -- there's food and the kids have a good time."
It's when families are able to come out and enjoy themselves that makes all the preparation put into the game night worth the effort, said McCormick.
"This just takes a bit of coordinating, but the most difficult part of planning the evening is making sure there is no conflict with other activities that might be going on around post," she said. "But once we get our time and date together, we just send out the information and get the word out.
"We have a blast doing it -- we have a lot of fun watching the kids play," McCormick continued. "I love watching them play and watching the parent interaction with the children -- it's just so important for them."