By Capt. John A. Brimley, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, Public AffairsNovember 1, 2012
FORT BLISS, Texas -- The 5th Armored Brigade hosted its first Halloween Spooktacular here Oct. 24, providing Soldiers and their Families an opportunity for downtime, fun and dress-up.
There were skeleton men, Toy Story characters, Winnie the Pooh, pirates, superheroes, princes, princesses and even Cinderella.
"I'm Supergirl," said Saskia Dorf, daughter of Task Force Rampant commander, Lt. Col. Aaron Dorf.
"I'm Cinderella," said Kinsley Whalen, daughter of a Task Force Rampant Soldier.
The Halloween Spooktacular included an arts and crafts room, game rooms, haunted house, pizza walk and "blood and guts" room that featured noodles for intestines, gummy worms for brains and caramel marshmallows for cotton swabs and earwax.
Each room was a hit for the kids, but the most talked-about was the haunted house.
"When I went into the haunted house," said Saskia, "I saw something moving, and it was creepy."
Police caution tape through the middle of the haunted house created a path and, on each side of the tape, the likelihood of being frightened increased as individuals moved through the room. A ghost would reach out from one side. An eerily-lit skeleton sat on a table.
"It was scary in there, but it wasn't scary for me," Kinsley said.
Task Force Renegade was responsible for the haunted house. But, much like the entire event, Renegade did not have to do it alone.
"I had a lot of help with the haunted house," said Heidi Kokes, Task Force Renegade Family Readiness Group leader and Halloween Spooktacular coordinator.
Each battalion was responsible for a room, and their combined efforts made the event a success.
"We decided to get all of the battalions to pull off one event to make it even larger," Kokes said.
The battalions brought their own version of creepiness to the celebration as the kids made juice box mummies, spider pops, ghost pops, ghost plates and bats in the arts and crafts room. The activities gave Family members the opportunity to bond and get to know other Soldiers and Families.
"The kids were all really involved and asking for help," said Blythe Hogeboom, Family Readiness Group advisor for Task Force Redhawk.
The battalions presented a fun-filled event for kids, Families and Soldiers to enjoy.
"We gave the Families good, quality activities to be involved in," said Hogeboom. "Units gave them time off, and we gave them low-cost events to enjoy."