Area I resilient, ready, for holiday season
Just a few short weeks ago I could look out my window and see that the leaves had turned to autumn shades of green, red and yellow, and my calendar reminded me that believe it or not, Thanksgiving was only weeks away.
Well, our Soldier cooks have basted the turkeys and gotten up another great Thanksgiving spread at our dining facilities. And just days from now we’ll see kids and families again turning out for our annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies on Area I installations.
It’s holiday season in Area I.
And we’ve headed into that season after a busy few months that saw our Soldiers, civilians and family members turning out for a broad variety of recreational and sporting events that were not only fun but important.
Important because they gave us all a chance to do one of the most worthwhile things there is: spending time with one another, sharing laughs and stories, building relationships.
In short, these activities ensure we have a chance to get better acquainted with the friends, neighbors and battle buddies who together make up our tight-knit Area I community.
The events were many and varied: our July 4 Independence Day celebration and our Labor Day Festival that drew thousands. We saw Casey Elementary and Middle School open for a new school year, and with it another chance to provide our youngsters the important academic and physical challenges that will help shape them for the years ahead.
More recently, the CYSS Soccer and Flag Football seasons opened. Country music star Aaron Tippin performed before a packed house at Camp Casey. And during Halloween, Area I outdid itself in laying on a nice mix of thrilling events that ranged from haunted houses and tunnels to zombie runs, trunk-or-treats and a Fall Fest hosted by our Chapel communities.
When our community members get to spend time together in these ways, one of the really good things that come from this is that it helps make them resilient.
Resilient is a word we use a lot these days, both in our Army family overall and here in Area I.
If you go by the dictionary, Merriam-Webster for example, resilience is defined as the ability to “become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens, or able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.”
Or, as I’ve expressed it in an earlier Command Perspective article, being resilient is being able to cope with stress, roll with the punches when things get tough, and bounce back from hard times.
At first glance one might not think these community events have much bearing on resilience.
But in fact, they have a lot to do with helping us get and stay resilient.
You may know that the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign is under way. It aims to foster resilience in individuals across our Army family – focusing on “Five Dimensions of Strength” – physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and family considerations.
With that in mind it becomes much easier to see how spending time with friends and family in safe, wholesome activities, aids resilience. Whether taking in a concert, attending chapel, sitting down with a friend over a quiet cup of coffee, playing sports or just rooting from the bleachers, these things bring people together.
As tight-knit communities demonstrate, the friendly concern of others – a battle buddy, a chaplain, a spouse or other acquaintance – goes a long way in helping others weather the storms and rough patches of life.
And so, for all the good things we were able to share in as a community this summer and fall, this holiday season is no exception.
As always, we want this season to be a safe one, a time when we ask ourselves the question, “Is there anything about the way I’m doing this that is not safe? What’s the safe way to do it?”
I’m proud of our Area I community for many reasons, and one of them is that people know how to be there for one another. That helps keep us resilient, and that’s a great way to be heading into the holidays.
- Col. John M. Scott, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I