Story and photo by Cpl. William Smith
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Fathers held their daughters and twirled them around the dance floor, the young women dressed in gorgeous gowns, their eyes full of admiration for those who held them as they danced to “My Girl.”
The Armed Services YMCA hosted the seventh annual Military Father Daughter Dance at the Crowne Plaza Colorado Springs hotel for dads and daughters to strengthen bonds, April 13.
“The Father Daughter Dance is all about (dads) connecting with their daughters,” said E.D. Rucker, military outreach coordinator, Armed
Services YMCA. “The Armed Services (YMCA) mission is to enhance the life of the active-duty members and their Family. The dance is about them bonding; it is about the dad and the daughter having that time together.”
Fathers were raving about the opportunity to dance the night away with their daughters.
“Last year we were not able to come (to the event) because I was in Afghanistan,” said Capt. Derek Foster, commander, Company A, 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
“With my many deployments, just being home is great, but being able to come to the dance with my daughters is just amazing,” Foster said.
For some of the attendees the dance was the first chance to create memories.
“The bond and the memories that my daughter and I are creating are amazing,” said Sgt. James Spaulding, health care specialist, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., as he held his daughter, Alyssa, 3.
“We don’t have a lot of memories because I was deployed and this is the first daddy-daughter date, first daddy-daughter anything, the first of many (to come).”
Foster said that events like these help servicemembers to reconnect with Family.
“Your Family is always there for you, so take advantage of the time you get with them,” Foster said.
Foster’s daughters, Ruby, 12, and Gracie, 9, both said they were excited that their dad was able to come to the dance, and enjoyed spending time with him.
Rucker said the YMCA staff looks forward to hosting events that help servicemembers.
“It is a beautiful thing, and (the dance) is my favorite event that we put on,” Rucker said. “Realizing what … military men and women do, seeing that you guys are so proud and your daughters are so proud that they are with their dads. When you see that, it touches your heart, it just touches your heart.”