By Ms. Elyssa Vondra (Jackson)October 19, 2018
One day after Hurricane Michael hit Fort Jackson, Darby Field was the site of the annual USAG organization day.
The storm left a breezy, sunny Friday afternoon Oct. 12, perfect for the games.
All Garrison employees and their Families were welcomed to the free event. An optional lunch was the only cost.
This year's theme was "game day tailgate." Wearing team T-shirts and jerseys was encouraged.
The event is hosted as a yearly show of appreciation for garrison employees.
It gives them a chance to relax and enjoy time away from their desks, said Zina Witherspoon, program analyst at the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization & Security.
"We're just out here to have fun," she said.
Horseshoes, volleyball, kickball and tug of war were a few highlights. There were also table games for the less-mobile.
The NCO Club catered.
Some departments made their own food, and a mini chili cook-off was held -- not to upstage the upcoming, annual Fort Jackson Fire Department and Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation chili cook off. Only a couple of competitors entered for USAG org day, Witherspoon said.
With 110 people signed up to eat, 150-200 attendees were expected in total.
Fewer kids joined in the fun this year.
In 2017, the game day was held during the summer before school was back in session.
"Nobody played any games," she continued.
This year, while Family members were still invited, the day was primarily intended to give employees a break.
Fort Jackson Garrison commander, Col. Stephen Elder, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Wilson, and Mark Cox, deputy Garrison commander, helped provide that respite. They were both servers in the catering line.
Elder voiced his appreciation before the games began.
"You work hard every day, and I think it's fitting that we take the day off and kind of have a little bit of camaraderie here on the field," he said. "Please have fun and build the teams here."