Spc. Jacob R. Mahaffey
2nd Brigade Combat Team Journalist
Soldiers and Family Members from 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, came together for the first GI Kids Day on Friday at the battalion footprint.
GI Kids Day gives children of the Polar Bears an opportunity to participate in many events their parents do on a daily basis.
“This was our first GI Kids Day; we had a GI Jane Day in the spring and had a lot of positive feedback from the spouses, so we decided to do one for the kids when they went on summer break from school,” said Maj. Ryan Morgan, executive officer of 4-31 Infantry.
To begin the event, the Polar Bear Cubs were separated into age groups – nine and younger and 10 and older. The two groups separated and went with their Soldier leaders.
Throughout the day, the younger cubs sampled Meals-Ready-to-Eat, threw water balloons, shot water guns and had their faces painted with Army camouflage.
The older group loaded onto a bus and went to the obstacle course, where they completed in several challenging obstacles.
At the battalion, there were military vehicles, bounce houses and a climbing wall set up for the cubs to enjoy at their leisure. Approximately 75 Polar Bear children participated in GI Kids Day.
“This was a great event; we had a great time and look forward to the next one,” said Thersa Reichel, wife of Sgt. Johnathan Reichel of Delta Company.
“My favorite part was the balance beam and the rope at the obstacle course,” said 10-year-old Katherin Turner, Thersa Reichel’s daughter.
The day ended with a barbecue-style lunch and an awards ceremony for the children. Children who participated in the activities each received a certificate welcoming them to the unit and making them honorary an Polar Bear Cub for life by Morgan and Command Sgt. Maj. Benny Dobbs, command sergeant major of 4-31 Infantry.
“These kids are amazing. It looked like they had a lot of fun. They did a great job, and they truly uphold what we do here at the Polar Bear Battalion,” Morgan said.