Commentary by: The Texas Military Forces’ UPAR Class
AUSTIN, Texas – On Oct. 26, 2014, the Joint Force Headquarters Family Readiness Group, part of the Texas Army National Guard, hosted its first unit-wide Spook-tacular Fall Festival at Camp Mabry, in Austin.
"The intent of this event is that everyone has fun," said Joint Force Headquarters commander, Maj. David E. Tyler. “It’s for the families.”
The festival included trick-or-treating, water dunking, pie throwing and other fall festivities.
"This is the very first Halloween party they’ve had," Tyler said. "I told a few enlisted NCOs that this is what I wanted to do, they jumped on board, made some suggestions, had a lot of good ideas and here we are."
The unit’s family readiness group organizers were the ones who set up the event. Maria Daniels, FRG leader and wife of Sgt. 1st Class Donny Daniels, expressed that this event would not have been possible without her 20 volunteers.
"A lot of volunteer hours went into this event," Daniels said "I had a lot of good help. I couldn’t ask for better soldiers than here at Joint Force Headquarters."
The FRG exists to support unit troops and families in case of emergencies as well as to increase communication among soldiers.
"The FRG is so important because we are able to have these events and involve our families," said Tyler. "So many people think we just set up tents and shoot weapons, but that’s not all. I like to have these events to eliminate a bit of stress, boost morale and let the soldiers have a good time with their families."
Rosa Soto, the unit’s FRG co-leader not only helps set up events, but gets personal satisfaction from them as well.
"I get a great, awesome feeling just by seeing everyone smiling and having a good time, enjoying their family and friends," Soto said.
Those contributing to this story include: Story by: 1st Lt. Ira LeRoy, , 1st Lt. Tyler Ahrems, 2nd Lt. Greg Nedell, Sgt. First Class Thomas Jones, Staff Sgt. Santiago Nuno and Sgt. Terry Maldonado.