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Game Night event places focus on Families, bonding

Thia, Emma and Mari Ramirez, and Tyson Armstrong, Army Family members, play a game of Life during the Family Advocacy Program’s Family Game Night at the Corvias Military Living Ballroom April 11. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Thia, Emma and Mari Ramirez, and Tyson Armstrong, Army Family members, play a game of Life during the Family Advocacy Program’s Family Game Night at the Corvias Military Living Ballroom April 11. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: April 17, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 17, 2014) -- It’s no secret that the Army looks out for its Family members, and Fort Rucker takes that to heart when putting on events to keep its Soldiers and Families happy.

The installation’s Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program hosted a Family Game Night at the Corvias Military Living Ballroom April 11 in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, said Crystal Roedler, new parent support program manager.

“The whole idea surrounding game night is to get Families together to play games so that they can focus on Family time, having fun and being together,” she said. “We feed them at our expense and we give them the opportunity to play together with other Families, and then we send them home with a game of their own.”

The games played ranged from board games to bowling, Wii to table tennis, and for some, the best part of the night was being able to spend quality time with their Family.

“I had so much fun tonight,” said Chicotah Baker, Army spouse and mother of three. “This was a totally worthwhile trip to come out, spend time with other Families and let my own Family have fun – we really enjoyed ourselves.”

“It’s great for the kids because sometimes there’s not that much for the kids to do around here, so when they have an event like this it’s well worth it,” added her husband, Sgt. Ramon Baker, Headquarters Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment.

One of the highlights of the night for the Bakers was a “cutthroat” game of Sorry!, which Roman said got pretty competitive.

“We all love that game and we love how competitive it gets,” he said, adding that his wife came out on top, something she was very proud of.

Chicotah said that it’s nights like Family Game Night that show her and her Family that the Army and Fort Rucker are looking out for their wellbeing and quality of life.

“This makes me feel like they care about my Family and how we live here on the installation,” she said. “What I enjoyed the most was the fact that all of my children, from the 8-year-old to the 15-year-old, were able to play together and we were able to come together as a Family.”

That quality of life is something that Roedler said Fort Rucker and the Army strives to provide for its members.

“Improving the quality of life of Soldiers and Families on the installation is huge,” she said. “Along with being a small post, Fort Rucker also has a transient population, so a lot of times people are only here for a very short period of time.

“We want their experience here to be a positive one and let them know that although it’s a small community, there’s a lot going on and there are fun things for Families here to do,” she added.

For the Bakers, who have lived at Fort Rucker for four years and been a part of the Exceptional Family Member Program for more than 13 years, Ramon said that Fort Rucker is tops when it comes to Family advocacy.

“Out of all the duty stations that we’ve ever been to, this is the only duty station that has had a Family Game Night like this,” said Ramon. “That’s something that’s great about Fort Rucker – they’re looking out for the Families.”

After a night filled with laughter and fun, Families weren’t sent home empty handed as they were able to take home a board game of their choice to continue the amusement.

Roedler said Family Game Night was also a good way to tell Families about the events that they can attend in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month, like the Stroller Parade and Decorating Contest.

The parade and contest will be held April 28 at The Commons at 9:30 a.m., and is free and open to the public, but participants must register by April 24.

For more information, call 255-9647, 255-3359 or 255-3898.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/124287/

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