Expo shows why life is #betteratbenning

Shalanda Ryles, left, discusses job opportunities with Carolyn Mitchell, the human resources manager at Liberty Utilities, while attending the #LifeIsBetterAtBenning Expo Aug. 12. (Photos by Danielle Davis)

Shalanda Ryles, left, discusses job opportunities with Carolyn Mitchell, the human resources manager at Liberty Utilities, while attending the #LifeIsBetterAtBenning Expo Aug. 12. (Photos by Danielle Davis)

By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /

Fort Benning’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation held its first #LifeIsBetterAtBenning Expo Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Benning Club.

“This is permanent change of station season. Kids are going back to school. It’s time to tell our families what we’re all about. We have a vast majority of families who do not live on post and sometimes they don’t know what’s happening on Fort Benning. Here, today we stand by our word and we’re here to show you why life is better at Benning,” said Bridgett Siter, Marketing and Social Media specialist for the DFMWR.

“We have a job fair, the Bite of Benning food sampling from all our food sources on post and there’s a lot of family activities. We have representatives from a variety of off-post and on-post organizations. There’s also some in-home vendors representing different companies here,” she continued.

Chris Wojciechowski, left, a graphic designer for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and Kaitlin Wetzel, a marketing assistant for the DFMWR, welcome the Fort Benning community to the #LifeIsBetterAtBenning Expo Aug. 12. (Photo by Danielle Davis)

Chris Wojciechowski, left, a graphic designer for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and Kaitlin Wetzel, a marketing assistant for the DFMWR, welcome the Fort Benning community to the #LifeIsBetterAtBenning Expo Aug. 12.

Attendees had the chance to walk away with some prizes including a vacation package and a grill donated to DFMWR by the fabulous sponsors, Siter added.

Among the Fort Benning organizations present was the Community Spouses Club.

“We’re a combined spouse and volunteer operation. We’re nonprofit and we do three fundraisers per year at Fort Benning. All of the funds we raise go to scholarships and grants for Army families,” said Joleen Poole, the president.

Barry Slayton, the community relations manager for the Columbus Cottonmouths, came on post for the expo to show support for MWR.

“We work closely with the MWR sports, fitness and aquatics team. They have a varsity hockey program and they work closely with us so we try to support and promote them as much as we can,” said Slayton.

“We want the Fort Benning community to know that we’re in town. Our season runs from Oct. to April. We begin our 21st season this year and we’re fun, family-friendly, affordable entertainment,” Slayton added.

Hyundai, one of the DFMWR’s sponsors, was also there to give free car inspections and test-drives.

Siter hopes that attendees will see that life truly is #BetterAtBenning.

“We have a lot to offer to the Soldier, the spouse and the family. We have a free concert coming up in September. In October, we have one of the largest events of the year, Oktoberfest,” said Siter.

Shaderrica Miller, a Fort Benning resident, stopped by the job fair while at the #LifeIsBetterAtBenning Expo.

“I learned about the expo from MWR and our family readiness group leader. I’m always attending MWR events and I look forward to going to more,” said Miller.

“One of my coworkers told me about the expo. I’m currently seeking another job so I wanted to stop by the job fair,” added Shalanda Ryles, a Phenix City resident.

“Aflac is a family focused company. I’ve seen a lot of families come through today and we want them to know that,” said Helen Bussey, recruiting specialist at Aflac.

“We’re a local company. We provide job opportunities locally. We try to do whatever we can to ensure that we’re a resource to the military families. So any time there’s an opportunity for us to come out and provide them with some information, we’re there,” said Carolyn Mitchell, the human resources manager at Liberty Utilities.

Tiffany Head, a marking and events coordinator for Little Caesars, handed out freebies to attendees in the Bite of Benning section of the expo as they grabbed pizza.

“We wanted to share lunch with the Fort Benning community and let them know that Little Caesars does events with churches and schools. We have games and the kids can win prizes when we come out,” said Head.

Salintha Washington, a Fort Benning resident, came to the expo because she wanted to learn about the services that are offered on post.

“Having been here two years, I haven’t gotten out much. For me, this is about meeting new people. You don’t want to be on post by yourself,” Washington said.

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