Ball

Eleonor Gardner | Herald Monique "Mojo" Jones explains her philosophies behind the making of the Military Moms and BRATZ Ball held Saturday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

KILLEEN — The second annual Military Moms and BRATZ Ball was held at the Killeen Civic & Conference Center on South W.S. Young Drive on Saturday.

About 110 guests in military dress uniforms and ball attire attended to enjoy special performances, music, dancing, refreshments and socializing under the encompassing theme of “Winter Wonderland–Celebrating Winter Around the Globe.” The event offered tables with coloring books, inflatable decorations, balloons, an Olaf character from the popular Disney film “Frozen,” Christmas trees, designated holiday and event photo spots, give-away bags, “decorate your own cupcake” activities, a candy buffet, cash bar, a picture slideshow and food. Performances by the C.E. Ellison High School ROTC color guard, JC Stringz, and the Southern Blazin Belles dance group and more were also provided to entertain guests.

The past two years, the BRATZ Ball has been held to acknowledge the unique relationship between military service members and their children, and the unique experiences military children have as a result of their parents’ decision to serve the country. The intent of the ball is so that military children — an often overlooked demographic greatly affected by military life — would have the opportunity to be exposed to military customs, courtesies and traditions in a relaxed and fun environment. This year, they were able to watch the C.E. Ellison High School ROTC color guard present the colors, take part in a tribute to fallen soldiers and receive a certificate commemorating their service as military BRATZ.

”BRATZ” is a play on the iconic name for children of service members — military brat — and is an acronym for Bold and Brave, Resilient and Responsible, Amazing and Adaptable, Tolerant and True, and Zealous.

A table showcasing the Camouflaged Sisters book collection was also presented for guests to explore. The book collection is mostly written for women in military service as both a resource and insider view of how other women in uniform have dealt with common experiences brought on by gender and military service. The book “Battle Buddy: Maneuvering the Battlefield of Transitioning from the Military” focuses on transitioning out of the military and benefits all transitioning service members regardless of gender.

“I wanted to create something where we could celebrate along side our children. I wanted the children to see some of our honor, some of our tradition,” said active-duty service member, event founder and “Silent No More” Camouflaged Sisters co-author Monique “Mojo” Jones. Jones travelled all the way from Korea where she is stationed to attend the event. Jones was inspired to create the BRATZ ball after having to encounter the difficult possibility of leaving her daughter behind when given orders to Korea, where it was likely that her daughter would not be permitted to go.

Last year the BRATZ Ball was held in San Antonio with 250 guests and will continue to revolve around the United States to service different military communities. Sponsorships are welcome. Visit www.mojonesonline.com and www.camouflagedsisters.org for more information.

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