Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn
2nd Brigade Combat Team PAO NCOIC
Army Community Service hosted a day of events Thursday for spouses in commemoration of Military Spouse Appreciation Day to celebrate their unwavering support to their Soldiers and the Army community.
This year’s theme, “Spouse Strong, Army Strong,” not only promotes the importance of healthy living but also emphasizes the inner strength of each military spouse.
“We do (an event) every year to honor the spouses of our Soldiers here at Fort Drum,” said Sarah Lynch, community outreach coordinator. “It takes a special strength to be an Army spouse, so we wanted to go with that theme.”
The event took place at Monti Physical Fitness Center, Atkins Functional Fitness Facility and the Pine Plains Bowling Center. A complimentary barbecue lunch of lean meat, fruits and vegetables was at the Pines Plains Pavilion.
The spouses enjoyed a day of healthful information and a variety of free exercise classes, such as Zumba, spin, water aerobics, yoga, self defense and total resistance exercise.
“We wanted to educate them on all the different facilities that we have. There is something for everyone,” Lynch said. “So there’s a lot that maybe they are not aware of. This is a perfect way for them to come out, and there is no pressure; they can see what there is to offer. It’s a fun event to get them out on their own.”
Nutritionists, personal trainers and Army Wellness Center staff were on hand to answer questions and inform the spouses about programs on post that promote a healthy lifestyle.
Chris Ramie, AWC director, brought some props out to help everyone visualize the difference between flabby fat and lean muscle. He also let everyone try out the bioelectrical impedance device that uses small undetectable electrical current in the body to measure the body’s relative proportion of fat and fat-free mass.
The AWC offers education, preventive medicine and guidance on lifestyle changes. It is not only open to active-duty Soldiers. Spouses, Family Members, retirees and Department of the Army Civilians also can receive health assessments and enroll in classes.
Ramie stresses the importance of having everyone in the Family involved in lifestyle changes.
“Generally it has been shown that people are more successful when they have everyone involved,” he said. “Having that support where the spouse is doing it as well as the active-duty Soldier – you’re going to be more successful and teach the children.”
Daphney Bunyan, wife of Capt. Rodney Bunyan, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, is a big advocate of working out and volunteering. She had no problem keeping in step with the fast-paced Zumba instructor, and she hopes this event helps other spouses get involved in the exercise programs.
“I absolutely love it; I condone it; I advocate it; I advertise it,” she exclaimed. “In our family readiness group, we try to promote that strong spouse, because we cannot have a husband out there doing his thing, and we are back here trailing behind because we are out of shape. I absolutely, 100 percent, support what ACS is doing.”
Aside from Zumba, yoga is a favorite activity among the spouses. Heather Spear and Natasha Diaz, whose husbands, Staff Sgts. Michael Spear and Francisco Diaz, are assigned to 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, specifically attended the event to try the yoga class.
“(I came to) try a class, yoga especially. Every time I see the yoga classes I want to come, but I can’t come during those times slots. This was a good opportunity to try it,” Spear said.
The friends also were excited about the AWC. Diaz said she thought the center was only for active-duty Soldiers.
“I was in the military, and when I got out I gained a bit of weight,” Diaz said. I am trying to slim back now, and I think that will be good for me and will help.”
No matter what your interests or abilities, summer is a great time to get out and be active with the whole Family. Fort Drum provides a wide range of activities besides exercise classes.
Join a sports team, take up archery or sign up for a trip. Information is provided at all the fitness facilities, ACS, USO and Out- door Recreation. Or peruse the Fort Drum website for calendars and details.