By Molly Hayden, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Public Affairs June 14, 2012
ESCHENBACH, Germany -- "Whose birthday is it today?" asked Anita Payne-Landgraf, chief of the Child, Youth and School Services, to more than 175 children from the Grafenwoehr community Child Development Centers and School Age Centers here, June 14.
"My dad's!" yelled Indiana Whitfield.
Lucky for Whitfield's father, he shares his special day with the U.S. Army, and the Army celebrates in style.
Although, according to Whitfield, so does his father.
"It's 'cause he's in the Army," said the 6-year-old.
While adult celebrations peppered the U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr this afternoon, community youth had a celebration of their own with a time-honored tradition and one very special guest.
Col. James Saenz, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr commander, dropped by the Netzaberg Youth Center to read the children a book appropriately titled "Happy Birthday, U.S. Army!"
Saenz read of a young boy whose father is a Soldier.
"He says that makes me special because I have two families. Our family and the Army family," read Saenz.
The story spoke of the Army's timeless traditions and celebrations, and engaged the children by talking about people in the community, familiar at every Army base worldwide, from police officers to caretakers at the Child Development Center.
Without missing a beat, the story ended, "Happy Birthday" was sung and cupcakes were served.
After polishing off the remains of his sugary treat, 6-year-old Christopher Pedrick wiped his face clean, missing the dollop of blue icing that had escaped to his brow.