FORT BLISS, Texas - November is Military Family Month and at Biggs Park, Nov. 3, Soldiers and Families of Task Force Bulldog, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team "Bulldog," 1st Armored Division kicked off their Walk to Korea initiative to figuratively show their Soldiers deployed to the Republic of Korea they are with them every step of the way.
"The purpose of this event is to symbolize us joining the Soldiers in Korea through our walk here today symbolizing how the families back here, at Fort Bliss, are joining the soldiers symbolically in Korea right now," said Capt. Daniel Jowdy, operations officer for Task Force Bulldog. "The Soldiers in Korea will be conducting this event as well. It's really just showing the unity between the rear forces here and the forces forward in Korea as well as bringing the families together."
Jowdy and his wife Leilani, family readiness group leader with Task Force Bulldog, are active supporters of Bulldog brigade's family readiness program designed to show Soldiers overseas that even though they are gone they are not forgotten.
"It shows we support them (Soldiers deployed to the Republic of Korea) and we're thinking about them even though they're overseas," said Leilani.
The "Walk to..." series is not a new occurrence in the Army. It's an initiative that has been very successful for seasoned Army families that have lived through deployments in the past.
"We've done several Walks to Afghanistan and several Walks to Iraq and it's always turned out great," said Valerie Cloutier, a senior family readiness advisor for 3rd ABCT, 1st AD. "What's great about it is it's an event that can tie-in families that are not here as well as unite families that are here so they can get together to do monthly walks and monthly activities."
Diana Oliver, also a senior family readiness advisor for 3rd ABCT, 1st AD, echoed Cloutier's sentiments.
"I feel like it shows that we're here for them (families)," said Oliver. "It's a level of support offering us time to get together. It kind of shows that we are one big family."
Task Force Bulldog, is a rear-detachment element of Bulldog brigade designed to maintain operations at home-station, and to ensure Soldiers families are offered support throughout Bulldog brigade's deployment to the Republic of Korea.
"We try to take every opportunity to give families the opportunity to socialize together so they do not feel like they are by themselves as they raise children, as they go to school, as they continue on their daily lives," said Maj. Gary Flowers II, commander of Task Force Bulldog.
The Task Force Bulldog FRGs are planning several other events to afford families of deployed Soldiers the opportunity to interact and strengthen the support network between each other.
"We have a 'Half-way Home Party,' which is like a ball for the spouses; and we're also putting together a 'Spouse's Challenge,' where teams of spouses from the different battalions will get to compete against each other in a fun event," said Flowers II. "We've got a lot of things coming up and we want to inspire all of the family members to come out and take part in these events because the more we're together as a Bulldog family, the stronger we are as a unit."