In honor of the US Army's 234th birthday, military and civilian youth at the Detroit Arsenal Child Development Center enthusiastically prepared to host a birthday celebration. Little hands were busy creating hand-made posters, banners, and cards which accented the 12-foot high inflatable birthday cake and plethora of camouflaged birthday balloons.

MG Scott G. West, Commander, TACOM LCMC, joined the youth for the party on June 16, 2009. The children made a new friend that day as they playfully gathered around the Senior Commander and listened to him read the tale of "Sam the Army Dog" by Mary Ellen Pratt.

David Receniello and Eric Rice, two young adults who attend the Middle School and Teen Program, also spoke about why they like being a part of the Army.

Rice explained how he is able to overcome some of the difficulties of having both parents serve in the Army. "Sometimes they are deployed so I don't get to see them all the time. Sometimes they miss my games. One time they missed my birthday. But I get to go all over the world to see new people and new things," states Rice.

Receniello, whose childhood dream is to serve in the military, agreed. "I like moving, experiencing new people, seeing new places, meeting new friends. It's really exciting. It's good stuff."

Afterwards, the children helped MG West sing "Happy Birthday" before they cut (and ate) the Army birthday cake.