On October 2nd, 2013, the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families collaborated with Fort Riley and HASFR (The Historical and Archaeological Society of Fort Riley) to prepare apple pies for the upcoming Apple Days festival, which is held annually at Fort Riley. Our evening consisted of helping with various tasks such as apple washing, coring, cutting, mixing, assembling pies, and making the toppings. We were able to bring a group of 14 K-State affiliated students and volunteers, and we partnered with HASFR and other groups who were willing to aid in the pie-making process. Our evening led to over 300 pies being made and later sold at Apple Days that weekend.
The Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families participated in the 2013 Apple Days Fall Festival at Ft. Riley. The Institute hosted an information booth, provided information for military families about the work of the Institute. Apple Days was an exciting way of integrating those in the community with our military families and soldiers. Events such as a cavalry demonstration, community health experience, inflatables, rock wall, petting zoo, obstacle course, treasure hunts and vendors also took place at this annual Fort Riley event. This was a great way for our Institute to interact with families at Ft. Riley by showing our support.
Institute Lecture Featuring General Richard B. Myers, USAF (Ret.)
On October 3rd, 2013, the Institute had the privilege of hosting General Richard B. Myers, Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and K-State alumnus. General Myers was available for a book signing of his book, “Eyes on the Horizon” and spoke to audience members about current issues related to the transitioning and reintegration of military and their families. The lecture was part of the K-State 150th Military Traditions events during 2013.
The Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families partnered with K-State Libraries and the Office of Military Affairs to host journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning author, David Finkel on October 17th, 2013. Finkel spoke on behalf of his book, “Thank You For Your Service.” This event was held at the Kansas State Alumni Center, where there was a book sale and signing followed by the lecture that was held in the main ballroom. Finkel, who deployed with the 2-16/1ID in Baghdad during the surge in 2007, spoke about his new book “Thank You for Your Service,” which focused on service members of the 2-16 and their post-deployment reintegration with their families and communities. Research for this book was conducted in the greater Flint Hills and Ft. Riley region. David Finkel followed the soldiers he had discussed in his book for 8 months and has stayed in contact with them post-war.
The documentary film, “LIONESS” was screened on Oct. 30th at the Wareham Theater in Manhattan, KS. “Lioness” presents the story of five women who served together for a year in Iraq, all deployed from Fort Riley to Iraq in 2004. Together the women’s candid narratives and scenes from their lives back home form a portrait of the emotional and psychological effects of war from a female point of view. A panel discussion on the current status of women and war followed the documentary, which included several women from the LIONESS documentary. The panel included SPC (Ret) Becky Martinez and SFC Ranie Ruthig, who were both featured in the documentary film, plus SGE Nicole Sively, 35th Military Police Company, Kansas National Guard, and Lt Col Judy Mathewson, 188 Fighter Wing, Arkansas National Guard.
The Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families hosted an information booth at Bill Snyder Family Stadium located in Cat Town at the Fort Riley Day Military Appreciation Pre-Game Events. As an institute we spoke to military families about our mission, goals, past events and upcoming events for soldiers and their families to attend. Along with information, we encouraged these individuals to find our page on Facebook where they have access to Institute events and resources for military families. And our BRO (Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division) partners got to enjoy a Wildcat victory, too. Hooah!
“One Hunger Pang Away,” written by K-State Graduate Student Amy Tichy, was performed in a read-through format on November 11th in the K-State Union Little Theatre. The play followed a family who shared their personal experience with Ms. Tichy regarding the impact of PTSD on their family. After the read-through, family members Maj. Jeff Hall, Sheri, and daughter Courtney spoke more in depth to the audience and answered questions about their family’s journey with the military and post-war PTSD. Maj. Hall and Sheri have worked closely with the Institute for several years. Courtney and Tami Hall both serve on the Institute Advisory Board.