By Mr. Kevin B Jackson (IMCOM)October 14, 2010
CAMP HOVEY, South Korea - Like other young Soldiers with families who are new to South Korea and are beneficiaries of new command sponsored positions in Warrior Country, Spc. Eric Bass appreciates having a safe and comfortable place to bring his family to unwind.
"It gets the children out of the house where we can come out and play a couple of board games and it helps with acculturation," Bass, Company D, 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, said about the family visit to Chairman Hobson Community Activity Center Oct. 9 for its annual Hispanic Heritage Month observance. "Just having the facility available is a big help to our family."
On this day, Bass brought his spouse, Alysha, and children, Joselyn and Joseph, to the CAC for the observance. He arrived in country in March 2009 and his family arrived the following October.
Herbert Pleasant, CAC director and his staff of three, routinely host an event for each special emphasis observance. On this day the CAC hosted a potluck for the troops and their families in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 annually.
The CAC-provided faire included a slow-roasted suckling pig cooked overnight in the oven at the Warrior's Club, baked beans, rice, tortilla chips, salsa and assorted drinks.
While the observance didn't include a formal program, single Soldiers and some with families like Bass visited the facility throughout the afternoon to get a bite to eat and take advantage of the amenities available in the four-year old facility.
Pleasant said he averages a little more than 1,000 patrons each month. But what's most important to him and his staff is to provide the Soldiers here who train extensively throughout the year with a safe and comfortable place to relax during their off duty hours.
"I try to have something for the guys; anything I can do to keep them from going downtown and possibly getting into trouble," he said.
The CAC, named in honor of former U.S. Representative David Hobson from Ohio's 7th District, offers an array of diversions. It boasts a large screen television, pool tables, computers, free Internet and WiFi access for Soldiers who bring their own laptops, Xbox, board games and even a variety of tours in the local area.
Bass said his family visits the facility infrequently to play games and relax.
"The children like it," he said after playing a few games of Yahtzee. "We come as a family and play either a video game or table game. It allows us to take (the children) around and let them enjoy the different activities on post."
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the culture and traditions of people who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South American and the Caribbean.
According to U.S. Census Bureau records, 1.1 million Hispanics or Latinos 18 years and older are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.