Family Day returns to Dobbins bigger than before

  • Published
  • By SrA Kendra Ransum
  • 94th Airlift Wing

The sun shines in the clear blue sky above Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Children point to various rides and games as they lead their uniform-garbed parents by the hand. Crowds fill the flightline as Family Day returns to Dobbins in a scale grander than before.

            Dobbins hosted its annual Family Day on Oct. 23, 2022, on the flightline here. Servicemembers and their families ID card holders were able to attend and on-base to enjoy a variety of fun activities including live music from the Lt. Dan Band, carnival games and food.

            “It gives not just the military members but also their spouses and kids an opportunity to come in and celebrate with everyone,” said Chief Master Sgt. Travon W. Dennis, 94th Airlift Wing, Command Chief. “What makes today special is we have an opportunity to celebrate with our tenants. We have reservists from the Marine Corps here, tenants from 22nd Air Force and several others, so this is truly a team Dobbins event.”

            The Cobb Chamber of Commerce, several sponsors and more than 30 vendors pitched in to help organize this year’s Family Day, said Dennis. 

“Five months of planning went into this,” Dennis said. “I just want to just say thank you to those individuals, as many as I can, for helping to put this great event together.”

            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic putting the annual festival on hiatus, this event was a first for some Airmen at Dobbins.

            “This is my first time getting to experience it,” said Tech. Sgt. Rachele Ison, 94 AW, religious affairs craftsman. “It's much bigger and more than I even expected.”

            Ison was accompanied to Family Day by her husband, Brett, and their two children, Anastasia and Hayden. The family spent time together, their children played, meet other families, rode horses and pet animals at the petting zoo.

            “She pet a rooster for the first time in her life,” Brett Ison said regarding his daughter, Anastasia. 

            Other activities at Family Day included facepainting, balloon animals, rock-wall climbing, bounce castles, trackless train rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, carnival rides and games.

Others like the Arce family have attended Family Day at Dobbins several times over the years.

            “It's always good to bring the family on base so they can see what I do during drill weekend,” said Tech. Sgt. Mark Arce, 94th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, biomedical equipment technician. “It's a huge morale booster.”

            Arce brought his wife, Katherine, and their two German Shepherds, Lettie and Jack, to Family Day. For Arce, the Lt. Dan Band is what he looked forward to seeing the most.

            “I've heard a lot about them, but I've never seen them live,” Arce said. “It's really neat that they decided to come to Dobbins.”

            This year’s Family Day featured the Gary Sinise Foundation and music provided by the Lt. Dan Band. The Gary Sinise Foundation honors defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need, and the ban’s performances are one of the many ways the foundation gives back.

            The Lt. Dan Band performed several songs during the course of the festival, with songs playing until the festival’s conclusion.

“Seeing everyone out here and with their families, it really brings the community together because as a reserve base, we're all so spread out and so far apart,” Ison said.