News: US Army Alaska’s community participates in 30th annual National Night Out
Story by Sgt. Sean Callahan
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Gangsters, hoodlums and criminals beware: North Haven Community event organizers hosted a National Night Out, Aug. 6 in an effort to heighten crime-prevention awareness.
Crowds of residents and community members came together at the Holiday Inn Express on Fort Wainwright for the 30th annual National Night Out, an event designed to generate support for local anti-crime prevention, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a clear, concise message to potential criminals that Fort Wainwright’s neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime.
“Our annual celebration is a great opportunity to promote safety in our communities and share valuable information and resources with our families in an enjoyable environment,” said Keith Scruggs, North Haven project director. “We’ve teamed up with garrison agencies and community organizations to showcase exhibits and hands-on activities that will help heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local efforts.”
The 484th Army Band played music and the first 100 children to arrive received school supplies from the North Haven Community event booth. While there, the children played activities and games and were able to burn off some energy in a bounce house.
“This isn’t our first National Night Out. We used to participate in our neighborhood back in Texas (prior to the joining the Army), but this is our first (National Night Out) in the Army and it feels like a real community,” said Aprille Cruz, wife of Spc. Edmundo Cruz from 2nd Battalion 8th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. “The best part of this event is the safety info, especially coming to the Arctic. Heating safety is something we didn’t have to deal with in Texas. We are just unfamiliar with extreme cold weather.”
According to the official National Night Out website, the event is held in an effort to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anti-crime efforts. National Night Out has grown in the past 30 years to involve 37 million people in more than 15,000 communities from each state, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military installations worldwide.