FORT HOOD, Texas - For the Soldiers and Family members of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Aug. 14, was an opportunity to gather for an end of summer pool party.

Held at the West Fort Hood swimming pool, Capt. Santos Arroyo, 3rd Brigade Special Troop Battalion's Rear Detachment commander, said initially the Family members wanted to have a barbecue at a local park, but the summer ending potluck pool party eventually became a more attractive option.

Some of the Family members in attendance Arroyo had not met before, so he was pleased with the turnout and excited to spend some time with them.

"I'm not one of those guys that like to have Family members come and sit in classrooms and just bore them to death with briefing or classes," said Arroyo from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. "Even though it's a good way to disseminate information, it's also good to come together like this or do something different."

The end of summer pool party is more than just an end of summer function. It also signifies that the brigade is more than half-way through the deployment, said Tracey Arnold, a military spouse from San Antonio, Texas, who was on her honeymoon in Florida when she received the communiquAfA about the event.

"We're at the point now where we can close down the summer, get our Families focused on the redeployment and get ready for our Soldiers to come home," said Arnold, who is married to the 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd BCT's commander, Lt.Col. Quinton Arnold.

Tyler Persons, a one-time Family Readiness Group leader for 3rd HBCT, 1st Cav. Div., said getting everyone together to have some food and a dip in the pool was a great idea.

"You really have the chance to get to know everyone a little better and make some new friends," said Persons, from Kissimmee, Fla.