2013-11-01 / Community Events

63rd Signal Battalion hosts Harvest Fest

By 1st Lt. Joshua Anderson
63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion


First Sgt. Oronde A. Grant of Headquarters and Headquarters company, 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, carves a pumpkin during the Harvest Fest pumpkin carving contest. 
Photo by Capt. Devon O. Thomas / 35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs First Sgt. Oronde A. Grant of Headquarters and Headquarters company, 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, carves a pumpkin during the Harvest Fest pumpkin carving contest. Photo by Capt. Devon O. Thomas / 35th Signal Brigade Public Affairs Spooks and frights were a plenty Oct. 24 at the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, motor pool parking lot and offices during the annual Harvest Festival for families hosted by the battalion.

Several hundred Soldiers and family members from the Lion Brigade participated in the event.

To volunteers such as 1st Lt. George Kunkle of the 518th Tactical Installation and Networking Company, 63rd ESB, the effort to put on the event was not an easy task to accomplish.

“Soldiers volunteered many hours to make the Harvest Fest a success,” said Kunkle. “It was a group effort.”

There was no shortage of children in the night as they ventured through the second floor of the motor pool to witness the transformation of offices into a haunted house.


Catherine Anderson, with the 63rd Family Readiness Group paints a child’s face during the 35th Signal Brigade annual Harvest Fest sponsored by 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion Oct. 24. 
Photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Anderson / 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion Catherine Anderson, with the 63rd Family Readiness Group paints a child’s face during the 35th Signal Brigade annual Harvest Fest sponsored by 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion Oct. 24. Photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Anderson / 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion “The haunted house was a well worth wait,” said Spc. Craig White, with the 63rd ESB.

To some spouses, the haunted house proved to almost too spooky for some of the children, which was pointed out by Maria Kupgisch, a 63rd ESB spouse.

“I couldn’ t walk,” Kupgisch said. “I had a kid on both legs.”

The atmosphere changed as children cheered while their candy bags began to fill up on the first floor.

There were also opportunities to have their faces painted and build arts and crafts to take home.

One major event was the pumpkin carving contest where companies of the 63rd battled for dominance. Soldiers representing each company of the 63rd had 30 minutes to create a masterpiece with a hallowed out pumpkin. Some used stencils taped on the pumpkin to make their design. Others attempted to draw out the design they wanted to carve. It was Spc. Johnnie Delrosa of C Company who needed no external aid as he free handed an owl to win the competition.

“It was non-stop the entire time with these kids,” said Pfc. Brandon Patchett.

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