Cheerful laughs and merry shrieks filled the mid-morning air at Fort Shafter Flats as children navigated through an assortment of fun activities during the Month of the Military Child - Family Day hosted by members of the 9th Mission Support Command's Headquarters and Headquarters Company April 13 for family members at the Field of Heroes.
The HHC first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Dayna N. Threatt, and Kevin J. Gilbert, the 9th MSC family programs director, led the planning and execution of the event as way to commemorate the children of the 9th MSC for their commitment and support to their Soldier and the U.S. Army Reserve's mission.
"With April being the Month of the Military Child, this was the perfect opportunity to tell our youth, 'thank you for your unwavering support' and 'we acknowledge all that you sacrifice as your parents serve our Nation,'" said Threatt.
The event's opening remarks were presided by Capt. Janeen M. Pasion, HHC commander, who also signed the Month of the Military Child proclamation to promote awareness of the month.
"By recognizing our military children, we are reiterating the 9th Mission Support Command's commitment to increasing the readiness of our youngest heroes and the readiness of the service members within our units," said Pasion.
Additionally, she also presented personalized certificates of appreciation to each attending child as a way to personally thank them for their service.
The family day event featured several activities for the kids, including an Easter egg hunt; where Brig. Gen. Douglas F. Anderson, the 9th MSC commanding general, surprised the kids as he donned an Easter Bunny head. On site was also a face painting station, an obstacle bounce house, a coloring station, and a food and cake table.
Overall, Gilbert says the family day event was a big success and is pleased to have witnessed the 9th MSC honor its Army Reserve children and their families.
"I am in awe of the strong recognition and support demonstrated to our military children by the 9th Mission Support Command team," said Gilbert. "The event, and those responsible for it, show us the great respect that a few passionate and caring people can have when they put their hearts in it."
Since 1986, the Army has observed the Month of the Military Child. According to the Department of Defense, in 2018 there was a total of 1.7 million dependent children from all U.S. military branches combined. Of those, 876,820 are Army military children, which includes 164,171 Army Reserve children.