FORT STEWART, Ga. - "It's before dawn, and I am up for another day. Across the Fort Stewart-Hinesville area, many children are still sleeping, perhaps waiting for the school bus. Not me - I am up. My dad has PT (physical training formation)."

"As I wait at before-school care for class to begin, I hear the horn that goes off every morning around 6:30 a.m.. "My dad has begun PT for the morning. I smile and shrug my little shoulders because even though it's early and I could be in the bed, I just thank God that my father is here, in the United States, and not at war."

Military children across America are often affected daily due to their parents' careers. Family Members and Soldiers of 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division took a moment, March 23 to give Spartan children recognition for their sacrifices and a closer look at what it means to be a Soldier.

The children participated in Night at the 3rd ID Museum where they ate refreshments, did a scavenger hunt around the museum, made arts and crafts, listened to historical stories from Spartan Commander, Col. Charles E. A. Sexton, and received certificates at the end of the night.
Mrs. Melody Sexton, wife of the Spartan Commander and the main coordinator of the event, said she was very pleased with the turn-out and the success of the gathering.

"It's just great to see how everything came together so smoothly. A lot of the events, the Soldiers helped me plan, and because of their creativity and imagination, it made the night much better for the children," Mrs. Sexton said. "I always try to include the children in what we do and showing them our history is definitely important."

Specialist Devin Pearson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2HBCT, 3rd ID, said seeing the kids take in so much valuable knowledge made him smile.

"It was good to see the kids learn as well as have fun. I am a single Soldier and don't have kids, so this was my first time really being around kids and I really enjoyed it. I think seeing all the historical accomplishments made by Soldiers is definitely a way to instill pride and love for their country and what their parents do in them," said Spc. Pearson.

Spartan wife, Alba Benavidas, wife of Staff Sgt. Jose Benavidas, HHC, 2HBCT, said the night definitely gave her kids another perspective and a greater appreciation for their dad's contribution to the U.S. Army.

"It was wonderful that my kids got to interact with more Army kids, and to also look around the museum and see men in uniform, like their dad, and see and read about the things they have done for our country," Mrs. Benavidas said. "The pictures of the Soldiers while deployed showed them that when dad is deployed he's not just at the company working, but he's doing a job for them to definitely be proud of."