7/21/2013 6:14 PM
by Joe Hellriegel
LEWISBURG - The military life can take a toll on families, so the Beckley Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center hosted the 2013 Family day for veterans.
"I think its incredibly important for the families to get together. Sometimes these guard units, their families live far off. And so it's a time to get together and not a time to be on a particular mission and just to be able to eat and have the VA fix it," said Andrew Caldwell of the VAMC.
The West Virginia National Guard and their families enjoyed a cookout, slides and music.
"It was a relief to come back home and actually know that you did something and made something of yourself," said Alexander Barrett of the 201st Unit.
"I think it's good for the families, everyone gets to see everybody's other side. We come here normally and you just see the soldier part of it but this gives everybody a better perspective of our home lives and what we do," said Sgt. Lucas Mullins of the 201st Unit.
The family day, held at the Readiness Center in Lewisburg welcomed all veterans. Organizers say in years past soldiers had to help work family day which left little time for their families. But today they get to relax.
"The one complaint we've always had with family day is it's a wonderful event but soldiers always have to prepare the food, serve the food and we kind of want to get away from that, were wanting everyone to enjoy it so that our kitchen staff doesn't have to, you know kind of work in what is supposed to be a fun day for them," said President of the Family Readiness Group, Kelli Higginbotham.