April 19, 2012

358th FS reestablishes ‘First Friday’ with Easter extravaganza

Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn/Release
Members of the 358th Fighter Squadron and their children decorate cookies before participating in an Easter egg hunt here April 6. More than 60 eggs were hidden for the kids to find.

The 358th Fighter Squadron held an Easter egg hunt for their military members’ children here April 6.

The Easter egg hunt helped the Airmen meet each other’s family. About nine children participated in the hunt, all of them looking for more than 60 eggs.

“I recently took command and really wanted to get the ‘first Friday’ reestablished,” said Col. Jennifer Short, 358th FS commander. “The first Friday of every month, we try and get the spouses and the families of our Airmen in our Heritage room and participate in an event. It just made sense to do an Easter egg hunt for the kids this month.”

As the children waited for everyone to arrive before searching for the eggs, they started their sugar-high-filled Friday by decorating and devouring cookies. When it came to the decorating the cookies with sugary toppings, the “less is more” saying didn’t hold true. The cookies looked like they weighed about a pound from all the layers of frosting and sprinkles smeared on them.

When everyone arrived, the hunt was about to commence. When the front doors of the Heritage room swung open, an onslaught of eager kids poured out to attack the outdoor area of the 358th FS in search of the treat-filled plastic eggs.

With the looting at an end and each child with a number of eggs in their possession, the parents and their children took the party back inside, where they mingled, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of the evening.

Hosting events like these are a way for the 358th FS to meet the families of the Airmen they work with. They can strip away the coworker moniker and start calling each other friends.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Jared Graham, 355th Training Squadron A-10 pilot, holds up his son, William, as he picks an egg out of a tree at the 358th Fighter Squadron Easter egg hunt April 6.

“I think having these events where everyone can mingle together and meet each other’s family makes us different than other jobs,” Short said. “I think with other companies, you go home on a Friday and spend time with your family and forget about work. We really know and take care of each other. We have people who deploy and you need that support back home when the Airman is deployed to keep that family together. I think that’s why we’re so good at what we do, because we take care of not just the Airman, but also their family.”

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