Story and photo by Sgt. William Smith
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
More than 50 Family members and Soldiers, dressed in costumes ranging from Duck Dynasty to Wonder Woman, anxiously waited for the gun to go off to begin an “Amazing Race” style competition Sept. 28.
The competition was designed to help familiarize the 14 teams with various resources and venues around post, and to help build a social support network with others in the military community.
“When we found out that (the unit was) deploying, we wanted to develop a whole year’s worth of activities for our spouses,” said Melissa Hermosillo, Family readiness support assistant, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division.
“This event really helped to connect spouses with other spouses.
“I don’t think that you ever stop worrying while your spouse is deployed, but Army spouses and Families being able to interact with others going through a similar experience makes the time that we spend together more enjoyable,” she said.
The teams raced from event to event, located at different locations such as Iron Horse Park and the golf course, and had to complete a challenge at each of them. Those who struggled to decipher the clues found help an arm’s length away, usually from a fellow stranger competing in the race.
“I have wonderful friends that participated with me, and I can call them if I ever needed anything,” said Sammy Nelson, spouse of Staff Sgt. David Nelson, personal security detachment, HHBN, 4th Inf. Div.
“We worked together to complete the challenges. By participating in the event, it just shows how strong we are. It makes us that much stronger and reinforces the fact that we help each other to get through a deployment.”
Hermosillo encouraged people to get involved in the military community.
“You won’t know if you don’t try. Don’t be afraid to get involved, and do something that you don’t think that you can, because there are other people around that will support you,” she said. “While this event was competitive, we saw teams help each other answer clues, saw teams helping each other get to the next challenge, and we saw a lot of teams just interacting with each other that never would’ve had the opportunity to otherwise.”
Sammy Nelson said she hopes the event happens again next year.
“We had a lot of fun. We dressed up in Duck Dynasty costumes, and a lot of people laughed, honked or wanted to take pictures with us. It was a great time.,” Neson said. “I would encourage other spouses to come out.”
Hermosillo said there are plans to host another Amazing Race competition in the spring.