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U.S. Soldiers host Halloween fall festival in Ukraine

By 1st Lt. Kealy Moriarty | 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard | Oct. 31, 2018

YAVORIV, Ukraine - Soldiers from the Tennessee Army National Guard along with Canadian and Lithuanian counterparts hosted a Halloween fall festival Oct. 27 for Ukrainian soldiers and their families.

The event included trick-or-treating, festival games, costume contests and a barbeque.

More than 50 multinational soldiers volunteered to host this event, and over 200 family members participated.

Soldiers and the local family members wore costumes while trick-or-treating around the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

After the treat-or-treating, families entered the local gym where Canadian, Lithuanian and U.S. soldiers hosted a series of festival games. The soldiers prepared games ranging from face painting, mummy wrap and musical chairs to hockey and limbo.

Soldiers decorated the gym in true Halloween fashion to include pumpkins, cutout bats, ghosts, witches and skeletons. The spooky atmosphere was also created by soldiers who played Halloween-themed music throughout the YCTC and roamed the area in costumes.

The night ended with a barbeque and U.S. Soldiers taught the Ukrainian families how to decorate and carve pumpkins.

"We really appreciate the opportunity to share American traditions with the local families here," said U.S. Soldier Maj. Rusty Gates. "This was something the Soldiers deployed here enjoyed as well as the kids."

This is the second year Soldiers deployed to the Yavoriv Combat Training Center hosted a Halloween fall festival for the Ukrainian soldiers and their families.