GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria community members celebrated the end of summer and return to school at the USO Grafenwoehr Sun & Fun program, hosted on Aug. 28 at the Tower Barracks Wild B.O.A.R. Outdoor Recreation Complex.
Preregistered participants enjoyed a barbeque, cake cutting, games, prizes, inflatables, canoes, paddle boats, face paintings, a magic show, music and community connectivity.
“It’s been a very challenging last year-and-a-half with COVID,” said Gabe Foist, center manager of USO Grafenwoehr. “Other than last year, this is an annual event … so we’re very excited to have this once again and offer it to folks. And we know it’s special to our garrison commander.”
According to Foist, USAG Bavaria Garrison Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck made it a point to ensure the event was still going to happen over the course of multiple plans and operations meetings.
Foist also expressed immense gratitude for all the volunteers — totaling 63 people — partner and sponsor organizations who set up booths and helped make the event possible, including:
- 15th Engineering Battalion
- 2nd Cavalry Regiment
- 41st Field Artillery Brigade
- AAFES – Main Exchange
- AFN Bavaria
- American Red Cross
- Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association
- PM Events
- Poco GmbH
- Sergeant Morales Club
- Service Credit Union
- Special Operations Recruitment Battalion – Team Europe
- University of Maryland – Global Campus
- USAG Bavaria – Headquarters & Headquarters Company
- USAG Bavaria – Family and Morale
- Welfare and Recreation
- USAG Bavaria – Fire Department
- Veterans of Foreign Wars – Tower Post 10692
Additionally, this was an all-hands event amongst USO Grafenwoehr, USO Camp Aachen, USO Bavaria and USO Powidz.
“We are so grateful for the people who came out and for the people volunteering,” Foist said. “An example is the young gentlemen over there doing the dunk tank. He’s a guest, but he came up and said, ‘I see your dunk tank. I’ll go in if you want, if you can find a towel for me.’ We got him a towel, and he’s running the dunk tank for us.”
“I just noticed that they didn’t have any volunteers — probably because the water was cold or it was raining — and I figured the kids would enjoy getting to dunk a person in the water,” said Spc. Dalton Howard assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade. “And we had a really good turnout. A lot of kids came by — more kids than I thought were even here once the dunk tank actually kicked off.”
While the USO Sun & Fun event could not promise sun due to overcast weather, attendees of all ages still had plenty of fun throughout the day.
“It is a special time to celebrate being a military community,” said Foist. “To appreciate the families and service members that serve here, just having some fun, enjoying the last hoorah for summer and being excited to go back to school, see friends and get back into learning.”
View additional photos of the event on Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWwcExU