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Photo contest asks families to show source of their strength

Courtesy graphic

Courtesy graphic

Published: November 7, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 7, 2014) -- November is Month of the Military Family, and Fort Rucker’s Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation is asking the installation’s family members to show how they remain Army strong.

DFMWR is hosting its first Military Photo and Caption Contest where participants answer the question, “What makes your military family, Army strong?”

“We wanted to do something different in honor of Month of the Military Family, and more in tempo with our families and how tech-savvy they are, so we thought it would be nice to have a contest where they answer the question with a photo,” said Ruth Gonzalez, relocation readiness program manager. “In the past, we’ve had them submit a written essay, or families were nominated by others to answer that question, but we thought we would get more participation if we got them to take a photo of the whole family to capture what it means to be Army strong.”

Participants must be a military family in order to participate, and Gonzalez said that retired families are included, as well.

All the family needs to do is take a photo with their family and write a caption to illustrate why their family is Army strong, and Gonzalez encourages people to think outside of the box.

“We want people to get creative and show what they do as a family that keeps them Army strong,” she said. “It can be any family activity, but we want people to get really imaginative with their photos.”

The families must submit their photos to the Fort Rucker MWR Facebook page or at by Nov. 16. Submissions will be added to the Fort Rucker MWR Facebook page with their caption where people can “Like” their favorite submissions from Nov. 17-23. The photo with the most likes will be declared the winner and that family will get to light the post Christmas tree during this year’s tree lighting ceremony.

In addition to the photo contest, DFMWR will be hosting an art contest for all students attending Fort Rucker Primary and Elementary Schools, as well as military children attending off-post schools between the ages of 4-12, said Gonzalez.

Artwork should be submitted in color on 8.5- by 11-inch paper in vertical format with the theme, “My Family is Army Strong.”

Family members should not be named on the artwork, but students must be sure to include their name, grade, name of parents, phone number and email on the back of the artwork so that winners can be contacted.

Fort Rucker students can submit their artwork entries to their teachers, and off-post students can mail or drop off their artwork to Army Community Service. The mailing address is, Army Community Service, Bldg. 5700, Rm. 350, 452 Novosel St., Fort Rucker, AL, 36362. All entries must be received by Nov. 20.

“Events like these just bring the community together and makes it fun, and just to hear what makes all the families strong in the military is nice to hear,” she said.

Although Fort Rucker is not an installation where many Soldiers deploy, it does have a large transient population that requires families to be resilient, and that’s why Gonzalez said it’s important for people to know how to be Army strong.

“Although a lot of Soldiers here don’t deploy, your Soldier is here, but they are a Soldier 24/7, so they’re home, but they’re not home,” she said. “There is a large student population here, so their mind is set on studying and training most of the time, and it’s difficult for the spouses to be here and not be able to participate with their family because they are so focused.

“But now is a good time for them to learn how to take advantage of those moments they are together. When we learn to take advantage of the time that we have, we become stronger as a family,” she continued. “Children see that even though we’re not together, either because of deployments or training, they can still be strong and still be involved in each other’s lives by taking advantage of the small time they have together and making the most of it. That’s something we have to do in the military.”

For more information, call 255-3817 or 255-0679.

This article was originally published at

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