Children dressed up as princesses, mutant ninja turtles and Harry Potter moved from one house to the next, Nov. 1, under the watchful eyes of their parents, Fort Campbell Military Police and members of Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers.
A forecast of potentially hazardous thunderstorms, wind gusts and showers prompted Garrison Commander Col. Joseph P. Kuchan to delay trick-or-treating on post one day from Halloween to Nov. 1.
Operation Friendly Ghost is a partnership between Fort Campbell’s law enforcement and BOSS members to monitor the streets on post as Families and children trick-or-treat. This year Soldiers from the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion and BOSS members helped protect trick-or-treaters across Fort Campbell.
“We do not want parents to be stressed out and worried about their kids safety,” said 1st Lt. Gabriel Martinez, 218th MP Co. “We will take care of the busy roads, we will handle the cars, we will make sure kids cross the street and are safe so they can enjoy trick-or-treating and enjoy the night.”
Many parents with their children felt safer knowing MPs and BOSS members were patrolling.
“Our kids are out here so they could get run over or anything like that, so it is pretty nice that they are out here helping out,” said Ilse Valdez, who was trick-or-treating with her children and neighbors.
Specialist Daniel Hayes, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division Artillery Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., said having the MPs and BOSS members watch over the streets during Halloween is a great idea.
“It is good that there is that extra precaution, so parents do not have to worry,” said Katharina Vaugha, who was trick-or-treating with her 4-year-old daughter.
Eighteen MPs were stationed at different major roads on post, watching the traffic and making sure children and Families could cross safely.
“We love doing this and it is a great event for the community, this is why we signed up to do things like this,” Martinez said.
Specialist Nick Campanello, 218th MP Co., enjoyed volunteering even though trick-or-treating started slow.
“The MPs on the road are pretty busy, so the extra few of us who can come out and volunteer to make sure things are generally safe, it is a good thing to have us do,” Campanello said.
BOSS members were stationed inside the neighborhoods on the smaller streets to help children cross the roads safely, Martinez said.
Duronda Cannon, business manager at the Warrior Zone, said 20 BOSS members participated in Operation Friendly Ghost. Not as many volunteers participated as in previous years because of deployments.
Staff Sergeant Elaine Terez, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div., said she volunteered to be a crossing guard and recruited other Soldiers in her brigade to volunteer as well.
“I don’t have little children so I think if there are Soldiers out there with children I want to be there for them,” Terez said.
With temperatures dropping from the 50s into the 40s, neighborhood residents brought Terez coffee and hot chocolate to keep warm. She said residents thanked her and said they hope BOSS and the MPs continue to help during trick-or-treating every year.
“BOSS always wants to give back to the communities that have helped us out in the past,” Cannon said.
The MPs and BOSS members have been a part of Operation Friendly Ghost for several years.
“BOSS is an extra set of hands when parents have kids going all over,” Cannon said. “Our main priority is to keep the kids safe at all times.”
Martinez said BOSS members helping out the MPs is a big help to them.