By Spc. Justin Moeller (101st Airborne)March 21, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Deployments can be a difficult time for Soldiers and their Families. While the Soldier is deployed, the responsibility of the household gets placed on the shoulders of the spouse and the children.
In an effort to alleviate some of that weight approximately to 4,000 Soldiers and Family members with the 4th Brigade Combat Team "Currahee", 101st Airborne Division, attended the Currahee Deployment Fair at the Family Resource Center on Mar. 19, 2013 at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The deployment fair featured both on and off post and brigade resources that can assist a spouse through the deployment.
There were face painting booths, bouncy castles and static displays to add an entertaining aspect for the Soldiers' Family.
"A lot of the brigades on Fort Campbell have done deployment fairs in the past but we wanted to put a different spin on it and have it be a fun event that the families would be enticed to come to," said Kimberly Keaveny, wife of Col. Val C. Keaveny, the brigade commander for the 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "We also wanted to create a relaxed environment where they can ask the questions they need to know to be ready for deployment."
"The spouses that remain here need to know what is available to them and what they can utilize in case anything comes up," said Juanita Harris, an outreach program coordinator with the Army Community Service. "The ACS offers varied programs that are there to support the needs of the Soldiers and their families."
Ensuring that the Families of Soldiers that are deploying know what is available to them is the heart of this fair.
"My focus with the deployment fair was on those new, young, army couples who are going through their first deployment as a couple," said Col. Keaveny. "I wanted to show the young spouses and children that they are not in this alone. There are thousands of other Family members going through the same thing, and beyond that there are hundreds of Volunteers and agencies that are here to support you."
Aside from the agencies providing support, there were also activities for children to make it a fun Family oriented event.
"It's a good time to look at all of the available resources and see what can be used and at the same time let the kids have some fun with the face painting and the bouncy houses," said 1st Lt. Jeremy Woodard, an engineer officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "There are a lot of benefits that are geared toward the kids and spouses while we are deployed that they wouldn't normally get."
"There are a lot of people out in the community that want to help Soldiers and their Families," said Mrs. Keaveny. "It's just a matter of connecting them to the right agency."
The Currahees are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in late spring of 2013.