News: JBLM Easter Egg Dash
Story by Sgt. Jacqueline Fennell
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Strong spirited military children, dressed in bright Easter clothes, demonstrated their physical fitness by dashing from the 20-yard line in an attempt to gather as many eggs as their little hands could carry to the finish line.
Waiting for them at the end of the field, was a tent where they could cash in their eggs for bags of candy and toys.
It didn’t matter to those who couldn’t walk or stand, the little ones found satisfaction in absorbing the warm sun and enjoying the excitement around them.
Although this was not your traditional egg hunt at Memorial Stadium April 8, smiles still lit the faces with every egg gathered during the Easter Egg Dash while local community members watched parents enjoy a day with their children .
“We feel that kids are a big part of the military and are a boost to soldier’s morale.” said Sgt. William May, a petroleum supply sergeant assigned to the 606 Forward Support Company, 17th Fires Brigade, and this year’s president of the JBLM Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers program. “Making them happy makes our service members happy.”
Children enjoyed the time spent with their families running for Easter eggs, candy and toys, which were donated by local sponsors.
“They might have not signed up for it, but they definitely have to do a service for their country,” said Spc. Monique Miranda, the installation BOSS team representative assigned to Joint Base Garrison, Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “It’s great to see them interacting with each other and having a good time.”
Military children often have to deal with deployments, being away from their moms and dads, or both for extended periods of time.
“I really looked forward to bringing my son to the Easter Egg Dash,” said Melissa Thomas, whose husband is currently on his fifth deployment to Afghanistan. “I am glad to be here.”
BOSS is a part of Family Morale Welfare and Recreation, which allows military families, like the Thomas family, to stay engaged in events and recreational activities.
Bill Strock, the recreation specialist supervisor at the JBLM FMWR said it’s important to show military families that we are part of their community and “that means giving back to it.”
Families were grateful for the opportunity to find pleasure in spending quality time and having fun together under the bright blue sky.
“There’s a lot to do here with the family at JBLM and there’s a lot of support groups,” said Crystalynn Dannemiller, the mother of six-week-old, Ryder Dannemiller. “I really like it here.”
Even though six-week-old Ryder is not able to sit on his own or dash for eggs yet, he showed his spirit by wearing an Easter bunny sleeper while he was carried around by his father and mother.
Next year, instead of rabbit ears draped over his eyes while he sleeps, he may just be able to waddle his way through the Easter Egg Dash.