Sons and daughters of military veterans ran around the Monster Mini-Golf course in Deer Park on Sunday, putting with glow-in-the-dark clubs and golf balls.
The kids were treated to the day of fun to say thank you and let them know they have a community that supports them and their families.
“We as a community are here for them and recognize their sacrifices for our great nation,” said Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills), who hosted the event and recently had legislation passed to recognize the month of April as “Month of the Military Child.”
“They’re back to being kids. That’s really most important,” said Beth Delli-Pizzi, who heads the Family Readiness Group associated with the Army National Guard's 69th Infantry Regiment.
The West Islip woman's husband is in that regiment. Capt. Lou Delli-Pizzi was deployed in 2008 to Afghanistan. The couple have two children, Maggie, 13, and Jack, 8.
“It’s the hardest thing anyone is going to go through,” she said, adding that she worked and took care of the house and children while he was on leave. “Even though we’re scared, you can’t let that emotion overtake you because you have to be there for the kids.”
After they played, the children ate pizza in the party room and were given backpacks filled with items they could use with their families.
Vicki Fleming, director of the 4-H Youth Development, said the backpacks included paper to write letters to their parents, a camera to take pictures, a photo album, a worry doll and letters from 4-H members.
“They’re in the military just as much as their parents,” Fleming said.