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Military appreciation day at the circus

Tags: Military Affairs Stories of Impact Recent News

Kalyn McMackin, Fox 21 News

As a way to show appreciation for military families, the El Pomar Foundation granted 4,500 service members and their families a free day at the circus.

Military families from the Air Force, Fort Carson, Peterson and Schriever Air Force Base filled the seats inside the Broadmoor World Arena to watch the greatest show on earth — all at no cost.

“Funds are tight,” said Nicole Lynes, a military spouse and mother of four. “They don’t make as much as people think so when there’s those few things that allow you to get out and go and have fun with the family and just kind of decompress I guess.”

“We really don’t thank our family members who are standing behind that service member so this is a way of just giving back and just saying thank you for your support, thank you for defending our freedom,” said Terrance McWilliams, the Vice President of Military Affairs for the El Pomar Foundation.

For many families, a small thank you can make a world of difference given the sacrifices that they too make.

“It’s just nice to have people care and kind of give credit to the spouse and kids because we’re right there along side them the whole time,” said Lynes.

Families were invited to experience parts of the show up close like watching the acrobats perform and even got the chance to try some of the acts out themselves.

“It’s giving them a release mechanism,” said McWilliams. “To just come out, relax and enjoy a good event, the greatest show on earth, the circus, and just forget about what’s taking place overseas.”

After serving in the Army for 31 years before retiring as the Command Sergeant Major of Fort Carson, McWilliams knows a thing or two about military life.

“I understand the stresses that are placed on the family unit,” he said.

He also knows that a little support can go a long way.

“When you look at the expression on these little kids faces, it just means a lot,” said McWilliams. “That expression itself says a thousand words.”

This is the 10th year the El Pomar Foundation has provided the opportunity to military families.

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