FORT BRAGG, N.C. --Carved pumpkins, costumes and the hunt for candy were still the highlight of Halloween this year. This year however, it came with a bit of a twist at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command annual trunk-or-treat celebration, Oct. 29, 2020.
Instead of the pitter-patter of little feet scurrying about, there were the sounds of engines idling as a parade of more than 40 vehicles, loaded with little ones, moved through the candy lines, while remaining in their vehicles.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, USASOC changed the way it conducted the event to protect service members and their families. Along with masks and gloves participants used witches cauldrons and ladles to pass out candy going the extra step to minimalize the risk of contact.
“It keeps with the theme and provides a safe way to distribute treats as the families drive up in their vehicles,” said 1st Lt. Kathryn, executive officer, USASOC, Headquarters and Headquarters Company and organizer of the event.
“Last year’s trunk-or-treat was huge, they had bounce houses, were grilling out, they had all this food, a cotton candy machine and everyone was dressed up.” Kathryn added.
This year’s trunk-or-treat was a little different this time to ensure everyone stayed safe.
“Obviously it was a scaled back version of what we’ve done in previous years,” said Lt. Col. Justin, HHC commander. “But I think that was just due to all the safety precautions that we’re all very mindful of.”
“It’s important to recognize the families and the dependents especially with the COVID pandemic and crisis and the current environment that’s going on. I think it’s important that we do something to show the USASOC Families that we care,” Justin added.
Justin noted that this event was a lesson that would serve as a way forward for the upcoming holidays.
“The future is kind of unknown and unforeseen as far as where COVID is going to go. I think it served as an example of maybe a small event that you can do with the proper mitigation to celebrate the holidays,” Justin said.