Army Party—Drill Sergeant Says—9 year old
Submitted by Crystal of Greensboro, North Carolina

Our son has always looked up to our nephew Dan, who has just joined the Army and we couldn't be more proud of Dan and happy for his parents. To show how happy he is for his “hero” Dan, our son Charlie wants to have a special Army birthday party to celebrate both their birthdays together,since Dan will be away for his own birthday. Charlie wanted to celebrate it now.

Invitations: Our nephew made a copy of the letterhead so we could use it for the invitations. We have just had the best Army party for my son's 9th birthday.  The invitations said You are required to attend Boot Camp to celebrate Charlie’s 9th birthday. They were to report to "Officer (parent in this case my name). When: (21 January 2012), Time: 1400 hours to 1600 hours (2-4pm civilian time) Birthday rations will be served Location: (your last name) military base (your address) RSVP (your number) Base Commander (parent's name), Military/camouflage clothing is optional.

Besides the flag that we already have in our front yard, we tied flags around our front and backyards. I placed signs near the food that said Mess Hall. I decorated the tables with camouflage tablecloths and tableware. I placed small American flags in jars on the table and tied red, white and blue balloons to the jars.

When the children arrived, we gave out dog tags for them to wear. They loved them.

We gave them rope for a game of Tug O War. They couldn’t stop playing it. They asked us parents to play too with Charlie on the kids’ side!

Charlie’s uncle lead the kids in drills (jumping jacks and push ups), but they played it like Simon Says and he would say Drill Sergeant Says “drop and give me 10 push ups.”

We had the kids play search and rescue relay.  We had kids run to the wounded soldier, wrap his leg in bandages (toilet paper) and used a bed sheet and a few army men to transport him to the army “hospital”.
It was the best to watch them working in teams helping each other escape—carry each other to safe. Some kids got together and actually carried the wounded soldier off. There was one kid who actually picked another kid up and carried him off on his back!

They had Target Practice. We gave them water balloons and let them hit their target. It was a very warm day and they loved getting wet.

An obstacle course where we tied rope pretty low and the boys and to crawl underneath it. Then they had to jump around tires. The last task was was the most difficult. You had to run to the three trees in our yard that had rope tied to them, grab hold to the rope and swing yourself as much as you can. But the last tree had a target on the the ground (a hula hoop) you had to land inside since this was the safe zone.

Food: Army grub: We served bbq chicken and burgers. We also put out chips and pretzels.

I made a sheet cake and drew the American flag on it in the center the cake and placed army figurines all around the flag and had the figurines carry American flags (flag toothpicks). Some of the parents loved it so much they took photos of it!

The kids loved Charlie’s cousin playing Drill Sergeant. I think they’ll also miss him when he goes away.

Charlie had so much fun with his uncle all day. I hope it helps him when his Uncle starts goes away for boot camp. At the end of the party, I heard Charlie say to his cousin “You’re my hero.” I know that meant the world to his cousin.

I gave Charlie camouflage colored paper for his thank you notes. He wrote “Thank you for “serving” my birthday party. You’re my hero.” He’s such a great kid.

Goody bags: I placed army figurines in camouflage paper bags.