Monday, December 24, 2012

Fort Stanton Garrison Christmas

Christmas Music
  Snow on  the Capitan Mountains
just a few miles west of Fort Stanton.
After Action Report
A Garrison Christmas


Larry Auld and his wife Janine, Mike Bilbo and his wife Barbra, Dan Judy and his wife Kate, Josh Judy, Matt Midgett, Larry Pope and his children Emily and Amanda, Jack Shuster and his wife, James Summers, Garrett Yost, Theresa Yost and her children Wayne, Wyatt, Aubrey and Cassidy, Theresa’s niece Bailey, and Mitzi Jenkins

Event Overview

We found ourselves preparing for the coming Garrison celebration of Christmas in the midst of a winter storm. Fearing icy roads and inexperienced drivers, we decided to head to the fort early on Friday afternoon, all the while hoping for a white Christmas celebration. Traveling through the storm, we emerged on the other side at Fort Stanton to find only a small amount of white on the ground, but a driving wind brought snow from afar to lite upon the parade. Our immediate task was to transform the Nurse’s Quarters into a habitable location for activity and joy. This we did with the little effort of a cleaning and warm fire.

Saturday dawned clear and cold with a constant wind. The flag was raised a little after 10:00, but only to half staff in reverence to the recent school tragedy in Connecticut. Various small activities were tended to and Theresa set up tables for Christmas ornament construction. Though this was meant to entertain the children, several Garrison members enjoyed painting clothes pin ‘soldiers’ along with the little ones. Josh then brought in the tree he had acquired, a beautiful 5’ evergreen, and posted it in the corner of the room. Its fullness was quickly enhanced with the imagination of child and adult alike as small additions adorned its branches. Everyone stood back to admire its beauty. Following our entertainment, we took to the parade for a short musketry drill session accompanied by horses. Our zeal for drill quickly waned as further entertainments within the Nurse’s Quarters beckoned.

Our celebration moved forward as holiday music filled our ears. Emily and Wayne raised their stringed instruments and marveled a crowd of visitor and volunteer alike with their talents. More senses were aroused as the smell of turkey, ham and cider filled our nostrils. We lowered the flag around 4:00 and began making the final preparations for a Garrison feast. To enhance the experience, 100 luminarias were placed and lit around the exterior of the building. After viewing the little glowing bags, everyone reentered the warmth of the building to take their respective places at the table. Garrison Chaplain Jack Shuster blessed the bounty before us and Sgt. Bilbo blessed our glasses with liquid gunpowder. Many toasts were offered and many thanks given as we filled our plates. A wonderful meal was consumed in short order and topped with sweets. The Auld and Judy families combined to give the children numerous gifts and we finished the evening relaxing around the fire in gastric recuperation.

Sunday dawned much like Saturday, only later. The flag was raised at 10:00, and then we gave the Nurse’s Quarters another thorough cleaning. Everyone cleared out by about 2:00.


The Garrison Christmas was a wonderful celebration. We spent a great deal of time with good friends. We gave thanks for what we have and made plans for the future. It’s amazing to think that merely a year ago, as of December 31 to be exact, the Fort Stanton Garrison came to be. We have done so much in a short amount of time. We can only look to the future with great expectation knowing that we will succeed with our plans.
Submitted by Jo Pope for the Ft. Stanton Garrison   Thanks, Jo


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