2013-10-25 / Community Events

Fathers create memories dancing with their daughters

By Wilson A. Rivera
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


Abigail Ferguson, age 7, goes for a spin Friday evening with help from her father, Lt. Col. Drew Ferguson, 442nd Signal Battalion. 
Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Abigail Ferguson, age 7, goes for a spin Friday evening with help from her father, Lt. Col. Drew Ferguson, 442nd Signal Battalion. Photo by Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Daughters and fathers from the Fort Gordon community spent time together to share moments and make memories for them to have the rest of their lives.

A Father Daughter Dance was held Oct. 18 at the Gordon Club hosted by the Religious Support Office. The ballroom was decorated with lights, balloons, replica ice sculptures of a father dancing with his daughter, a large screen projecting graphics near the dance floor, and ribbons wrapped around the backs of chairs as it was a wedding or high school prom.

The daughter of Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Khaje-Karimedoni, Olyvia, age 6, gave the event two thumbs up. The two found it easy transitioning from their table to the dance floor and making their way to grab some food together. Khaje- Karimedoni is assigned to the 31st Intelligence Squadron here.

“It’s important for dads to make memories with their daughters when they are kids, so when they grow up, they have good memories to remember their dads with,” said Sgt. Andrew Lewis, a chaplain assistant with 551st Signal Battalion.

Daughters know their fathers are there to guide and protect them. Events like the dance allow fathers, when not deployed, to share positive moments with their daughters.

“ Dads, when you’re home, make sure you attend your daughter’s activities. Whether it’s sports, band, academics, cheerleading, art, or writing, there is a productive activity that will make you proud of your girl,” said guest speaker Maj. Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson, U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon commanding general. “Your daughter will remember you for the rest of their life.”

Friendships and confidence develop in such activities, which will help her mature and keep focused, staying away from activities and drama, such as boys, where their fathers can’t help when they are away.

“By treating your girl with respect and showing her how she is to be treated right here at tonight’s Father Daughter Dance, your little girl will know how to be treated when she goes off to her first prom dance or date at the movies,” he said.

When Patterson was assigned to the Pentagon and his wife worked every other weekend, he and his daughter went everywhere together. Roller rinks, laser tag, Go Karts, and whatever his daughter wanted to do.

“Sometimes just being there is enough, like being there when they ask for money,” he said.

Patterson gave the example of a son asking for money and a father telling him to mow the yard. But when a daughter asks for money, a father simply says, “How much do you need sweetheart?”

A father takes his job seriously, whether it’s teaching his little girl about the world or teaching her how to enjoy the world, Patterson said.

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