By Ms. Lacey Justinger (USAG Hawaii)June 12, 2008
FORT BLISS, Texas-Fort Bliss focused the Army's 233rd Birthday celebration on Army children during June 9-14, 2008.
Army children are included in birthday celebration to help them understand the contributions their parents and families have made to the nation in the 233 year history of the Army.
The Fort Bliss Child and Youth Servies has organized several Army birthday celebrations for children at the Logan Child Development Center and Annex, Main CDC, Main School Age Services and Logan SAS during the week. Events include a Red, White and Blue Parade; a field trip to the Fort Bliss Museum, a scavenger hunt and field trips to Biggs Park to fly kites. Children also created Army birthday cards and decorations as well as wrote personal Army family stories.
During a scavenger hunt around Fort Bliss, children discoverd the Old Fort Bliss trail tombstones belong to cavalry dogs and horses.
"We decided to do a Fort Bliss scavenger hunt to create a fun way for the children to learn history," said Tomoko Gates, the Main SAS director.
Small groups of children were seen scattered throughout Fort Bliss, while they searched for the Buffalo Soldier statue and the oldest building. They explored the Japanese Park and the Fort Bliss and Air Defense Artillery Museum.
Ryan Wilson, a fourth grader in the SAS program said he enjoyed learning the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and he did not know the statue was so close to his school.
The celebrations culimante on June 13, when Garrison Commander Col. Edward Manning and Shoshana Johnson, the first American black female prisoner of war from the Fort Bliss 507th Maintenance Company will read the Army birthday storybook aloud at the CYS centers. All children in the Fort Bliss CDCs and SAS' will receive a free copy of the book.
Separate Army birthday celebration events are scheduled for teenagers who are 11 years old and up at the YouthPlex, Bldg. 195, on June 14, from 2 until 10 p.m. There will be a cupcake baking and decorating contest, water games, a barbeque and premier their short film depicting the Army's history.
Fort Bliss is implementing the Army Family and Community Covenants by constantly improving support like the CYS celebrations that are available to Soldiers, military families and the surrounding Fort Bliss communities.