Skip to Main Content

Kings Island

Skip to Next Section

Military members enjoy lost time with family on Independence Day at Kings Island

Kelly Obbie

Social Media Coordinator - Kings Island

From December 2007 to February 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Poe was deployed with the United States Army while his wife was pregnant with their third child. He served in the Army for 20 years, and over a decade after his last deployment, he visited Kings Island with his family for the Fourth of July, including with his oldest daughter who will start college soon.

“I grew up in the area and retired in the Northern Virginia area, so we actually like to come back every year for Fourth of July to visit the family,” Brian said. “It’s a really great opportunity to bring the family to a place like Kings Island where I grew up as a kid, working to buy my first season pass, and getting to bring the kids in to see all the old rides and the new rides. It’s a really great way to just kind of share my youth with the family these days.”

There are so many sacrifices our military members make, but the biggest may be time spent away from family. That’s why Kings Island likes to give that time back. Over the Fourth of July holiday, active and retired military personnel received free admission to the park for Military Appreciation Days.

“You can’t ever really replace the lost time, but what I really appreciate is the opportunity to come in and take advantage of these sorts of things from great institutions like Kings Island where they recognize our service and separation time from the family,” Brian said.

Staff sergeant James Hopper has served in the United States Marine Corps for 15 years. This week he visited the park with his wife, children, sister, brother-in-law and nieces. We caught up with him while he watched his kids and nieces ride the bumper cars. As he spoke, he spun a basketball won at one of the arcade games while he walked with his family to ride Vortex.

“It’s great to be able to spend time with them,” James said. “Obviously we do go on deployments. We’re away a lot of the times, but getting to hang out with my family and my nieces is a great time.”

Lieutenant Chris Martin served in the United States Navy for eight years and retired when he and his wife decided to have a family. As he carried a giant bag of pool floaties into the park, his three daughters followed at his side wearing red, white and blue dresses and headbands with stars. Two of them will visit the park for the first time.

“We wanted to have a family and knew that it would be very tough to do but knew that a lot of families do that and serve that way,” Chris said. “I can’t imagine missing a single day without them now that I have them.”

Although he was not separated from his children during his time in the military, Chris said he understands the sacrifice military families make and what it means to spend lost time together.

“This means the world to be able to come here with our family and enjoy this and see other families and see other military families who have been away from their kids during this time,” Chris said. “It’s very special to us and it means the world to us, and we thank everybody for their service as well.”

In all of the excitement of fireworks and parades, it’s easy to forget what the Fourth of July is all about. Another Army member who has served for 16 years said it’s important to teach children the meaning of the holiday.

“I think it’s vital that we teach our youth and children it’s just not a barbeque holiday,” he said. “Tell them what it is. Its America’s birthday. It’s our independence. It’s vital that they learn about that in their schools and then our families as well. We need to teach that to our children. I think that’s getting lost, so I think that’s a vital part of why people should know that we celebrate the Fourth of July.”

From all of us at Kings Island, thank you to the brave men and women who serve and have served in the U.S. military, and Happy Independence Day!

 

 

 

Share This

Kelly Obbie

Social Media Coordinator - Kings Island

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Floral Clock an iconic Kings Island attraction

The most iconic and most photographed landscape feature at Kings Island is the floral clock. When it was built in 1972, it was the world’s largest and heaviest clock mechanism.
Read More

Take a virtual ride on Kings Island's Orion roller coaster

Designed exclusively for Kings Island by Switzerland-based Bolliger & Mabillard, Orion has opened to rave reviews. It is one of only seven giga coasters in the world, a class of coasters having a height or drop of 300-399 feet. Riders traverse on a high-speed journey over eight hills and 5,321 feet of track at speeds up to 91 mph on the tallest and fastest roller coaster at Kings Island.
Read More

Celebrate National Carousel Day this Saturday

If you’re looking for things to do in Cincinnati this weekend, round up the family and head to Kings Island July 25 for National Carousel Day, also known as National Merry-Go-Round Day.
Read More

Popular Kings Island attractions celebrating anniversary seasons in 2020

One thing we love to do here at Kings Island is celebrate! With the 2020 season underway, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of our favorite attractions that are celebrating anniversary seasons this year.
Read More

The Voice on NBC contestant Michael Williams stars in new Kings Island show

This past spring, Michael Williams was singing on national live television as a contestant on the hit show The Voice on NBC. This summer, he's performing in his own show at Kings Island, Center Stage Live!
Read More

The Beast, Racer part of an elite group of legendary roller coasters 

Two of Kings Island’s most iconic roller coasters, The Beast and The Racer, are part of an elite group on the American Coaster Enthusiasts Landmark list of storied attractions that include Coney Island’s 1927 Cyclone, Disneyland’s 1950 Matterhorn Bobsleds and the 1902 Leap-the-Dips in Pennsylvania, the world’s oldest operating roller coaster.
Read More

Kings Island releases new pins for 2020

Pin trading/collecting could be traced back to the mid nineteenth-century with the origin of the sport curling, as some of the oldest trading pins came from curling clubs. While Kings Island may not offer curling, we certainly do offer an array of collector’s pins that are a must-have for park experts and Cincinnati natives.
Read More

Summer Flash Sale! 

It’s time to reach for the stars! Kings Island is now open, the new Orion giga coaster is drawing rave reviews, and it’s time for you to come play.
Read More

Kings Island's Orion reactions are in. Here's what people are saying

Kings Island’s new Orion roller coaster opened earlier this month. As one of the most highly anticipated new attractions for 2020, does it live up to expectations? Orion reactions are in, and here’s what people are saying.
Read More

Kings Island's Orion roller coaster a story-driven attraction

Kings Island's Orion roller coaster is a story-driven attraction. Themed to the park's new Area 72, the ride features the latest prototype vehicle developed by the Project X initiative. Scientists are in a race against time to develop technology capable of weaving transport vehicles through a coming meteor storm and traveling to a new planet within the Orion constellation. For the program to be successful, it needs volunteers to help with testing.
Read More