Nearly 400 people turned out Saturday for the ScaryOwen event hosted by 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment at the squadron’s headquarters and motor pool.

In what has become an annual tradition for the unit, they set up a family-friendly Halloween event that saw people attend from across 1st Brigade Combat Team, and even across the 1st Cavalry Division, according to Lt. Col. Richard Groen, squadron commander.

The open-air event observed all safety protocols needed due to the coronavirus pandemic, including masks and social distancing, and it was important to have the event even with the extra measures for safety.

“It’s an opportunity that we can bring troopers and their families together to just kind of enjoy the weather right before the winter timeframe and enjoy sort of as we approach the holiday seasons,” Groen said.

“We’ve got the trunk or treat here in the motor pool, a photo booth set up, kids crafts, the dunk tank, where people are dunking commanders and first sergeants, and then the squadron headquarters is turned into a haunted house,” Groen explained.

Events like these are nothing new to GarryOwen, and they are important to the morale of the unit, Groen said.

“The way that we see this is the family nucleus and the overall resiliency of the trooper are the center of gravity,” Groen said.

“You can see this is a Saturday and people are coming out here of their own free will, because they want to participate,” Groen said. “We had probably about 50 folks that volunteered for nothing in return. And it’s a pretty tremendous thing when they want to give back to the unit, and the unit sees them as the center of gravity.”

The entire brigade is slated for a training rotation in Europe later this fall in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. This is one of their final events before deployment.