How Halloween is celebrated by the military depends greatly on what individual bases and military commands choose to do, but there are definitely plans for this time of year.
Halloween will be celebrated on Thursday, October 31, 2019.
The holiday season is often a tough time for military members, families, veterans, and friends. Most associate this struggle with Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Halloween is really the start of the fall/winter holiday season, and military communities know that for some-especially military parents separated from their children at this time of year-there should be some form of military community activity and outreach.
How Halloween Is Celebrated At Military Bases
Any military base overseas that allows “accompanied tours”, where spouses and dependents are welcome, usually has some form of the usual Halloween trick-or-treat activities among the base community. In places where there is family housing, the neighborhoods will likely resemble any other American street, with costumed kids and family members going door-to-door. And sometimes, these occasions turn into a cross-cultural learning experience.
Trunk Or Treat
The “trunk or treat” version of Halloween candy-collecting also appears on military bases at home and overseas. And it’s not all about sugary fun-sized snacks. Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany, hosted a healthy snack station in addition to the usual fare; a move no doubt applauded by base family support and wellness centers.
On-Base Fall Festival Celebrations
Military installations both at home and abroad often plan fall festival celebrations that include typical Halloween activities. One such event at Fort Hood, Texas included a costume contest, carnival games, and pumpkin decorating.
Costume Parties and Contests
The image above from Fort Hood, Texas isn’t the only place where military communities have costume contests. They’re popular all over the globe, including the U.S. Naval installation at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
GTMO, as it’s often called, may still be home to the military prison notorious for its’ confinement of those suspected of terrorism against the U.S. but it’s easy to forget that this is a working military installation with men and women in uniform serving far away from family and friends. Here’s an image from a 2015 Halloween costume event there featuring an Army Sergeant and a young resident of the Naval Station.
Unique Military Expressions Of The Halloween Spirit
A great example of how the military finds unique ways to say “Happy Halloween!” This video features members of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Shooting Team:
Celebrating Halloween By Helping Kids And Troops
Many private organizations hold Halloween candy drives to support deployed troops. One such group, Soldiers’ Angels, asks families to donate their Halloween candy for a “Treats To Troops” program that includes those deployed but also wounded warriors recovering in VA hospitals. Groups like these often work in partnership with other organizations (in this case, HalloweenCandyBuyBack.com to collect donations nationwide.
Other programs that support the troops with candy donations and other activities at Halloween time include:
- Operation Gratitude
- Operation Shoebox
- Operation Stars And Stripes
Halloween Military Discounts
Wholesale Halloween Costumes
All active and inactive members of the United States Military, and their families, get a special 10% discount on all items.
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