FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The sound of laughter and holiday music could be heard as soon as anyone walked through the doors of passenger shed three at Pope Army Airfield, where service members and families attended the annual holiday party hosted by the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, Dec. 7, 2018

U.S. Army Maj. Timothy Middleton, host of the event and the commander of HHBN (rear)(provisional), XVIII ABC, said this party was thrown to show the care and commitment the unit strives to employ towards its Soldiers and their loved ones.

The party consisted of several competitions and activities that service members and families enjoyed.

Upon entering the party, everyone received a numbered ticket to be used for numerous raffles throughout the evening for a chance to win donated prizes. Prizes were also awarded for the winner of the chili cook-off, and for the winner of an intense game of bingo.

Everyone attending was presented with a unique opportunity to display their holiday creativity in the form of contests for the most decorative holiday table and the ugliest sweater.

Families and Soldiers brought their own homemade meals, platters and beverages to the holiday potluck.

"It made me feel welcome to my first unit, and it was a nice opportunity to establish relationships among my peers and to meet families of the community," said U.S. Army Pvt. Daniel Alkana, a public affairs mass communication specialist assigned to the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Single Soldiers who attended were gifted bags full of treats and toiletries. All of the prizes and gift bags were donated by Soldiers or various military support organizations.

"I'm thankful to be here and alive taking care of soldiers," said Roland Rochester, a volunteer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "We do all we can to spread some cheer, because they're also here taking care of me."