‘The kids love it:’ USO’s Easter Eggstravaganza offers quality time for military families

MILWAUKEE -- Military members sacrifice so much during deployments -- not just in their own lives, but it all takes a toll on their family back home as well. On Sunday, Mach 25, hundreds of Milwaukee-area military families were able to leave the worries of war behind and have a happy holiday, celebrating Easter together.

"We have over 2,000 eggs filled with candy," said Josh Sova, USO executive director.

And kids got their hands on more than just eggs. They found tangible ways to reconnect with their families.

"I missed a few birthdays. I missed a few Christmases," Army combat medic Jason Belt said.

Jason Belt

So Jason Belt wasn't going to let this Easter celebration slip by. Belt spent Sunday morning at the Urban Ecology Center for the USO Wisconsin's Easter Eggstravaganza.

"This event hopefully helps them recreate those connections they lost out on," Sova said.

Sova said thanks to donations, hundreds of currently-serving military, wounded, veterans and families of the fallen attended the festive event complete with crafts, games, raffles and of course the Easter bunny.

"They might have been deployed. They might have been in training for a while -- but now that they've come back, they have a nice picture they can frame and make up for some of those missed memories," Sova said.

While toys and gifts surely put a smile on faces, the real prize was quality time.

"The kids love it," said Chris Katzke, whose wife is in the National Guard.

"Being at event like this really brings us together and we get to spend time with the family. We live up in Rhinelander, so we drove all the way to down to come here for the event," said Julia Katzke, National Guard member.