By Sgt. Nathan Akridge, 31st Air Defense Artillery PAONovember 9, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla.-- For many Americans, Halloween is a time to scare the daylights out of others, but Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, wanted to do more than that and held three events that brought families and single Soldiers together.
The "Lethal Strike" battalion's Halloween festivities kicked off with a fun run. People showed up in costume, everything from robots, to children's TV show hosts, to people riding ostriches. After a short run, the unit had a canned food drive competition. Each battery made displays with their canned foods, and the battery with the most cans won a free pizza party.
1st Sgt. Melissa Calvo, A Battery first sergeant, said the event was held with one thing in mind.
"We wanted to give back to families and single Soldiers and let them build esprit de corps in a safe environment," she said.
After the fun run, Soldiers and family members spent their day preparing the D Battery headquarters and their vehicles for the evening's festivities. Humvees and personal vehicles were decked out with Halloween decorations, and the headquarters was transformed into a haunted house.
Sgt. 1st. Class Robert Boucher, D Battery, said the event also benefited the people who put it together.
"You should have seen the boost in the Soldiers' morale when we started putting everything together. Everyone put their personal touch on it. None of these guys have to be here, they all gave up their personal time and resources to make this event a success. We're getting ready for the field, and when people get tired they'll remember this event and get a boost in morale. It's definitely a team-building event."
Spc. Jacob Hendershot, D Battery, said he brought something special to the haunted house.
"I did special effects makeup in school and special effects work for a few college production
companies. It gave me the basic fundamentals you need to do special effects. Special effects makeup gives a sense of realism and will help with the scare factor as well."
The trunk or treat event allowed kids to walk in a safe area and do a little trick or treating. Pfc. Jennifer Johnson said she was initially a little hesitant to do it.
"They asked us if we wanted to do the trunk or treat. At first I said no, but after I thought about it, I said yes and figured I'd scare some kids. Now that I did it, I'm glad I participated."
Sgt. Sean Schneider, A Battery, said his reasons for participating were simple.
"It's an FRG function. We are here to support the kids. It's a fun event, everyone dresses up, gets together and the kids get candy. It's all about fun and team effort," he said.