Fort Bliss (U.S. Army) — Friday evening, the officers and Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, held a formal dance at their dining facility to honor their daughters.
As Soldiers and their daughters, ranging in age from infants to teenagers, began arriving, they were met with a little girl’s delight, but with a distinctly military twist.
Where a serving line once was, a candy buffet stood with licorice, chocolate, gummy bears and a wide variety of goodies to entice and delight the smiling little ladies.
This formal was different from other Army formals; instead of Soldiers raising glasses charged with wine to toast the various aspects of Army life, they held
high glasses of fruit punch and lemonade to toast all the things that make the Army life worth the sacrifices, especially when it boils down to daughters.
The novelty of the occasion was not lost on Capt. Nathaniel C. Charles, the incoming company commander for Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 4th BCT, 1st AD, and his daughter Sarah.
“I think this is really fun,” said Sarah. “I’m excited and have been really looking forward to tonight.”
Charles, who has been busy conducting change of command inventories and getting acquainted with his Soldiers and staff, was looking forward to taking the time and savor this rare evening.
“I think this is a great opportunity for us to get together in a completely different venue than what most of us are used to,” said Charles. “Taking this time to give to our daughters is invaluable to them.”
As the formalities of the evening came to a close, Soldiers and their daughters gathered on the dance floor to cap off the night with a Soldier/daughter dance, the highlight of the evenings festivities.
For Staff Sgt. Juan Carbajal, an environmental specialist with 4th BCT, and his only daughter Isabelle, this was a chance to make up for missed school dances and birthdays. Carbajal has been deployed three times in the last sixteen years and missed a big chunk of her life.
“My sons are in football and various other things, so I get to spend a lot of time with them, but this is a very special time for both of us,” said Carbajal. “Dancing with my daughter and holding her in my arms was like holding her when she was just born. I knew at that moment that I would do whatever I could to keep her safe, and being here with her tonight I know I would still be willing to do the same today. No matter how old she gets she’ll always be my little princess.”