Spouses of 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley Soldiers connect with the local community
Courtesy Photo | Spouses of 1st Infantry Division Soldiers attended several events and connected with the local community in Manhattan, Kansas, Presidents’ Day weekend. Representatives from the Kansas State Military Affairs Innovation Center and USO Kansas worked with the staff of Fort Riley’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation to provide opportunities for installation families. (Photo Credit: Kaitlin Knauer) VIEW ORIGINAL

Spouses of 1st Infantry Division Soldiers attended several events and connected with the local community in Manhattan, Kansas, Presidents’ Day weekend. Representatives from the Kansas State Military Affairs Innovation Center worked with the staff of Fort Riley’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation to provide 1,800 tickets to installation families to attend the 75th annual Kansas State Rodeo Feb. 20.

“We always appreciate an opportunity to link our Soldiers and families with the surrounding community,” said Matthew Enoch, chief of the Community Recreation Division at DFMWR.

Enoch and his team also coordinated a Feb. 18 tour of the McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University for spouses of deployed Soldiers prior to attending a musical at the venue.

“This is an opportunity I truly value,” said Monica Bassett, spouse of Maj. Gregory Bassett, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “We get to explore and connect with our local community and learn about the arts.”

The USO Kansas Executive Director, Mark Claussen worked with Enoch and KSU officials to enhance the experience for the spouses.

“The partnership with Matt and his team is something we really enjoy,” said Claussen. “And it’s a great opportunity just to have a fun evening with families.”

The events are part of the 1st Infantry Division’s Big Red One Year of Family. The yearlong campaign is focused on building the strength and resilience of families, educating families about available resources and showing appreciation for their continued support of their Soldier.