By Kerstin Lopez (Fort Carson)November 17, 2011
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Military Family Appreciation Month kicked off Nov. 4 with an annual dinner at the Southeast Family Center Armed Services YMCA.
The Families First Dinner, hosted by the YMCA, was an opportunity for the community to honor the military and their Families, said E.D. Rucker, Southeast Family Center Armed Services YMCA military outreach coordinator.
Nearly 100 servicemembers and their Families came out to the event as part of Military Family Appreciation Month. Dinner was served followed by a magician who mesmerized the audience with his tricks.
"It's military month and this is our kickoff, our appreciation to you as active-duty members and as Family members," Rucker said.
Members of the Fort Carson command group including Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson; Col. Robert F. McLaughlin, garrison commander; and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James A. Kilpatrick; attended the event and served dinner as a token of appreciation to the Families for their service and sacrifice to the nation.
Angie Williams, YMCA family director, said she was happy to see so many Families in attendance and was thankful for all they do on a daily basis.
"I am so grateful for the service that you all provide in this community," Williams said.
Dawn Petro, Family member who attended the dinner with her two daughters, said it was nice to get together with other Family members while her husband is deployed.
"The dinner was awesome and the fact that they had a magician for the kids was even better," Petro said. "It's nice to know people come together to show support for the military Families, and I think it's important because it (shows) the Families how much they are appreciated for all they do."
Fort Carson's Military Family Appreciation Week runs in conjunction with the Army's monthlong observance, said Gigi Holman, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Events and Entertainment administrative assistant.
"It is important to Fort Carson and the Army because we recognize the commitment and sacrifice Families make every day. This is only a small token of our appreciation, but by celebrating this week we are showing that we are a place where Soldiers and Families can thrive in a time of hardships," Holman said.
A variety of Family-oriented activities will be offered this month designed to celebrate and recognize military Families and the sacrifices they make.