1st Medical Brigade Celebrates the Season with a Holiday Festival

By Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby
Chief of Public Affairs
4th Sustainment Brigade

FORT HOOD, Texas — It was a unique location for a holiday party for an equally unique unit. About 450 Soldiers and family members from the 1st Medical Brigade celebrated the holiday season together in a helicopter hanger on Hood Army Airfield on Dec. 19.

The Silver Knights, as the 1st Med. Bde. is known, do not deploy in total as a brigade. In fact, the unit is spread out across three states and five installations including: Fort Hood, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Bliss, Fort Carson, and Fort Polk.

Approximately 2,300 Soldiers are assigned to the brigade, and more than 300 of those Soldiers stationed at Fort Hood are currently forward deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

"That's why the provisional brigade commander wanted to execute a holiday event that Soldiers and families could enjoy at a Brigade level," said Lt. Col. James L. Waddick, brigade executive officer. "The Holiday festival provided a great opportunity to get the brigade family together as a whole and celebrate the holiday season, especially for those family members who have Soldiers currently deployed within the unit."

Setup for the Holiday Festival was a team effort with another unit on post who used the same site the day before for their own holiday party.

"We were able to combine forces on decorations and set up," said Waddick. "Once decorated, the hanger provided an appropriate site with plenty of room to seat, feed, and entertain the Soldiers and families of our brigade."

One of the family readiness groups for the unit was able to leverage a local vendor to provide a full holiday meal at a reasonable price for the unit.

"The FRGs executed considerable fundraising efforts that allowed us to offer the event at no-cost to Soldiers and families," said Waddick.

Some of the actives at the Silver Knight's holiday festival included: door prizes, games, crafts, bingo, a silent auction, and Santa's village for the kids.

"I thought the event went very well and we received a lot of positive feedback from those in attendance, said Waddick. "A significant amount of planning a preparation went into putting it on and a lot of Soldiers and family members really stepped up and contributed to the effort.

The highlight of the afternoon was when Santa Claus arrived on the hood of a M997 Field Litter Ambulance which was decorated to look like Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer.

"You could see and hear the excitement of the kids when Santa arrived bringing presents for the kids," said Waddick.

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Fort Hood, Texas – Santa Claus arrived on the hood of a M997 Field Litter Ambulance which was decorated to look like Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer at the 1st Medical Brigade holiday festival on Hood Army Airfield Dec. 19.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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Fort Hood, Texas – The excitement level at the 1st Medical Brigade holiday festival skyrocketed to a new level when Santa Claus arrived with gifts for all the children at Hood Army Airfield Dec. 19.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

 

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Fort Hood, Texas – Children played Bingo as they waited for Santa Claus to arrive at the 1st Medical Brigade holiday festival on Hood Army Airfield Dec. 19. About 450 Soldiers and family members attended the event which included: door prizes, games, crafts, bingo, a silent auction, and Santa's village for the kids.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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Fort Hood, Texas – Soldiers and family members were served with a buffet-style holiday meal with all the seasonal trimmings at the 1st Medical Brigade holiday festival on Hood Army Airfield Dec. 19. The Family Readiness Group for the unit was able to leverage a local vendor to provide a full meal at a reasonable price for the unit and at no-cost for those in attendance.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)

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Fort Hood, Texas – A family member nails the center circle with the bean bag ball at the 1st Medical Brigade holiday festival on Hood Army Airfield Dec. 19. About 450 Soldiers and family members attended the event which included: door prizes, games, crafts, bingo, a silent auction, and Santa's village for the kids.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby)