News: Monster Bash a scary success at Fort Bliss
Story by Sgt. Richard Andrade
FORT BLISS, Texas – Imagine taking a walk on a warm, sunny afternoon when the park scenery is interrupted by the sight of people in nurse uniforms lying on the ground. Upon closer inspection you can see blood splattered across their clothes, then suddenly the corpses lunge towards you. Overturned trash cans block your way to freedom, narrow beams are the only safe bridge over the gang of zombies. Moments before those who appeared to be laying dead on the ground are now standing up and giving chase. Those who attended the Monster Bash at Biggs Park here, Oct. 26, do not have to imagine this horror movie scene, because they lived it at the event's zombie obstacle course.
The zombie obstacle course was only part of the Monster Bash organized by U.S. Army Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation with assistance from soldiers and various Family Readiness Groups. The family-oriented event featured a DJ, concession stands, and arts and crafts activities for children. Admission was open to the public, but nominal fees for the haunted houses and arts and crafts went to benefit the various FRGs involved.
LeAnne Mueller, an FRG volunteer with the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Ar-mored Division, said the Monster Bash is a good way to bring families together to enjoy the holiday and show support for the FRG and the battalion.
“I think Fort Bliss is really making an effort to provide activities for the whole family,” said the native of Rhinebeck, N.Y., dressed as a butterfly. “I think it is a fun time, and I am really excited to be a part of the Monster Bash.”
For those who had the courage to pay the $1 admission to the haunted house, they encountered creepy things inside. Spider webs hung everywhere through dimly lit corridors. Actors dressed up in spooky costumes startled people as they walked through the labyrinth.
One of the soldiers helping set up the haunted house was Spc. Laurel McHenry, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade here. McHenry’s day began with a 5K unit run in which soldiers were given the option to run in costume. Maintaining the Halloween spirit, McHenry said her unit collaborated with soldiers' spouses to set up the haunted house all morning.
She added that Halloween is her favorite holiday, which might be the reason she is having so much fun.
“I feel that it is pretty rewarding to be able to help out with something that will give a lot of good memories, and those things are priceless,” said McHenry, a native of Georgetown, Ky.
The set up of the haunted house was hard work, she added, and the FRG volunteers were a huge help.
Patty Santiago, an FRG volunteer for Battery A, 3/43 ADA, 11th BDE, said she and the rest of the FRG are supporting the battery by helping with decorations and collecting the money for admissions to the “pretty scary” haunted house.
Santiago said she likes Halloween and enjoys trick-or-treating with her son, “He really enjoys it. I think it is fun as long as you don't get too far into the scary part.”
Spc. Jonnathon Foucher, a utilities equipment repairer assigned to Battery E, 3/43 ADA, 11th Bde., dressed up as an evil jester for the Monster Bash and said he was eager to scare people inside the labyrinth located inside the haunted house. Together with other soldiers assigned to his unit, they also helped set up the “pretty scary” haunted house.
“There are two portions to the haunted house; one side not so scary and the other, which is horrible and scary,” said the Columbus, Ga., native.
Foucher added this is his favorite time of the year, “I love Halloween, you get to dress up and be a kid all over again.”
2nd Lt. Jocelyn McNair, a native of Darlington, S.C., who volunteered from 3/43 ADA, 11th Bde., said she enjoyed watching everyone working together.
As the sun began to set, more people in varying age groups entered the gates to Biggs Park, some dressed in costumes, some not. A sign of success could be seen on the smiles of volunteers such as McNair. She smiled as the line to the haunted house she helped set up was getting longer.
“The soldiers, MWR and the FRG, they made it happen,” said McNair.