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  • Fort Belvoir hosts USO-Metro's Deployed Family Fun Day
    Updated On: Jul 11, 2013
    Ryan, 6, and Cal, 3, McManus get help from fire­fighter Lael Firestone after exploring a Fort Belvoir firetruck that was on display at Castle Park Saturday.

    By Brittany Myrick USO-Metro The USO- Metro gave local military Families with deployed loved ones a chance to gather at Fort Belvoir as a community for support and en­­tertainment, at the first Deployed Family Fun Day of the year. More than 400 Families attended the event featuring information for parents and activities for children. A performance by a color guard and drill team started the day and Washington Redskins Cheerleaders also entertained. Deployed Family Fun Day is a biannual event, which USO- Metro started in 2007 to boost morale within the local military community. To Families coping with deployment, the event presents a chance for them to build a support system, for their children to meet other kids in similar situations, and to learn of different re­­sources available for their family. 'We have contacts for all branches of service here,' said Dawn Fincham, programs and serv­­ices manager for the USO- Metro. ' Our goal is to create a one- stop shop for the Families, so they can get all the information they need while their Family member is deployed. We also hope to give the children the chance to interact, so they know they are not alone during this difficult time.' While parents collected information at the va­­riety of booths, the children collected stamps for ' passports' they received. A variety of different stations were set up for the children, such as craft tables, face- painting, bingo, paint ball and balloon animals. ' Face painting was the best,' clsaidaimed Solenne and Skyelar Montgomery, sisters who came to the event to support their friend, Chan­tal, whose father recently deployed. Carrie Shekleton, wife of Maj. Michael Shek­leton, deployed on his second tour in Iraq, ex­­plained that, for a mother of four, the day means ' an afternoon of activities that I don't have to plan myself.' USO- Metro is planning another deployed family day for September.

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