HomeNewsArticle Display

Military Families Gather for Winter Fun

Jan. 19, 2014 -- FARGO, N.D. -- A few more inches of snow came just in time for families of Airmen and Soldiers of the North Dakota National Guard, who gathered for a meal and winter activities at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Fargo on Jan. 19.

The Winter Holiday Party for Military Kids event, which was sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 02 and open to military families of all branches, included winter-themed games and horse-drawn sleigh rides provided by the North Dakota National Guard Child and Youth Program.

For Nikki Braaten, Child and Youth Program coordinator, the party was the culmination of countless hours spent organizing the event and preparing a host of games and activities.

"Events like these offer children a chance to interact with other military kids," Braaten said. "We want to give families opportunities for their children to learn life skills and teamwork in a safe environment, and we want to give busy service members the chance to enjoy fun, quality time with their children."

At the event, the Hovland family was first to enjoy the horse-drawn sleigh ride. Bryan Hovland, a squad leader and vehicle inspector for the North Dakota Army National Guard's 231st Brigade Support Battalion, and his wife, Heather Hovland, enjoyed reconnecting with their Norwegian roots during a calm ride with their daughters Kayla, 14, and Annika, 9.

"We go to every single one of the events that the Child and Youth Program put on," Heather said. "We like the spring event that takes place every year, and it's fun to be a part of the Christmas and winter events too."

This year's winter party, which likely doubled last year's attendance, is part of the family outreach program aimed at supporting military and their families through events and programs that offer opportunities to interact and learn from one another.

The Hovland family, from Argusville, N.D., has been attending Child and Youth Program events since Bryan joined the Guard nearly nine years ago.

"After Bryan deployed, and since he's returned, we've always made sure to make it to events like these, because they offer a chance to reconnect with other military families," Heather said. "It's also fun to participate and support the program, since they put such great events together."

The North Dakota National Guard Child and Youth Program supports the social, emotional and academic needs of military children and youth. It encourages the development of positive self-esteem, self-confidence, team skills and leadership abilities.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.