Relationships grow between Air Force families
Sophia Tangarife, 2, plays with the Wichita Falls Wildcat mascot during the 3rd Annual Balfour Beatty Communities Ice-Skating Family Day at the Kay Yeagar Coliseum Feb. 27. BBC organizes events like this to give the military families an opportunity to get to know each other. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Candy Miller)
Relationships grow between Air Force families

by Airman 1st Class Candy Miller
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

3/1/2010 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- Residents of Balfour Beatty Communities took the opportunity to bond with their military family Feb. 27 during the 3rd Annual Ice Skating Family Day.

The privatized housing company encouraged residents to get to know each other during this and other events so that BBC residents can become "more than neighbors."

Tina McCausey, assistant manager of BBC, said when military members deploy, the families are left with each other and this event was an opportunity to establish and maintain friendships with each other.

"The relationships that are built during neighborhood events are often the same relationships that help you through your difficult times," she said. "These families are all military and can relate to each others' situations."

Gladys Velez, a BBC resident, attended the ice-skating day because she thinks family time, including her Air Force family, is important.

"If it wasn't for these activities I wouldn't get to know my military family," she said. "This makes it a lot easier."

Mrs. McCausey said Ms. Velez's reaction is exactly what BBC was trying to urge.

BBC coordinated with the Wichita Falls, Texas Wildcats hockey team for the free event, exclusive to residents. Moose Panik, the ice programs coordinator, offered two sets of four tickets to Wildcat games and T-shirts to be raffled to the military families.

Mrs. McCausey said supporting the community is important to BBC because they do great things for the military and this is a prime example.

Ms. Valez said her 2-year-old daughter, Sophia Tangarife, enjoyed playing with the wildcat mascot and the other children.

"Getting to know neighbors is good for us adults, but it's also great for the kids," she said. "They get to know other military dependents who will relate to them."

BBC's goal is to also promote a healthy lifestle.

Mrs. McCausey said, "we try to hold one major event like this a month and a smaller event every week. We will continue the ice-skating day because it's always a success."