More than 500 Soldiers and Family Members came out to Remington Park on May 12 for a day of food, fun and entertainment as Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted its annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
Guests soaked up the sun, enjoying the 60-degree temperature – a stark contrast to the snowy weather that hit the North Country a few days before the event.
Col. Bryan J. Laske, Fort Drum garrison commander, said that providing a day of care-free fun for Families to enjoy is just one small way for the post community to show thanks for the sacrifices that Family Members make in support of their Soldiers.
“Our spouses do so much for the community and for Fort Drum,” he said. “It’s important that we take the time out to recognize them and provide them with a day of fun and relaxation – something to show them how grateful we are.”
Family Members had an opportunity to climb a rock wall, play in the bounce houses, and enjoy a picnic lunch – served up by FMWR staff, with help from Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander; Laske, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan L. Alfaro, Fort Drum garrison senior enlisted adviser.
Cathy Ferran, Army Community Service director, said that Military Spouse Appreciation Day provides an opportunity to remind spouses that there are many organizations on Fort Drum to support them as they navigate the challenges that military Families must overcome.
“On an installation like Fort Drum, where our Soldiers are constantly deploying or going into the field, spouses often have to care for their Families while one parent is away,” she said. “It’s important that our spouses know that we care, that we are here for them, and that we appreciate all that they do to support their Soldiers as they fulfill their part of the 10th Mountain Division’s mission.”
Sgt. Nicholas Hagler and his wife Marty sat together on a picnic blanket, watching their two children play in a bounce house. The couple, who arrived at Fort Drum in February, said they were excited to get out of the house with the children and to see all that Remington Park has to offer.
“It’s a really great environment, and I’m glad we came out,” Nicholas Hagler said. “I don’t think spouses get enough credit for everything they do. An event like this shows that the community appreciates them.”
Marty Hagler said that the event also provided a way to network and meet new people.
“It’s great for the kids to get out and play with other children, and it also gives me an opportunity to meet other spouses,” she said. “We’ve never been to a spouse appreciation event on any other installation, and they’ve really done a great job with this. We’re all having a blast.”