Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, hosted their inaugural Soldier Child Ball February 13, 2020 at Fort Riley, Kansas.
The Disney-themed ball is an event meant to strengthen the bonds between the Families and cohorts that make up HHBN.
“It’s really special to me that my company throws events that my entire family can attend,” said Spc. Kelly Boatner, a human resources specialist with HHBN. “I can bring my kids, they can see the people that I work with, and understand that the people that I work with care about them as well.”
Boatner said that she enjoys activities such as the ball because it’s a morale booster that allows the children to be more involved and see a positive side to their parents being in the military.
The ceremonial portion of the ball included military traditions such as singing, toasts, a fallen Soldier tribute, a dedication to the children, and a parent-child first dance.
“This is how, as a community, we can bring people together,” said Jeenah Hernandez, daughter of Master Sgt. Alexander Hernandez. “You get to know stuff that you didn’t know before, and it’s honestly kind of cool. I ran into three of my friends here and I was like, ‘I didn’t even know your parents were in the military.’”
After the ceremonial portion of the evening, parents and children participated in activities such as face painting, dancing, coloring and a photo booth.
“I’ve gone to events like this, and they’re fun,” said Hernandez. “In the future, I’d love to see more pop up just so you can spend more time with your people.”