It’s not every day Cynthia Garcia, Army spouse, gets to see a dinosaur sledding from the back of a Jeep at Fort Campbell, or the inches of white snow and ice pellets that blanketed the installation this week.

But that’s the beauty of a snow day at Fort Campbell, a rare day when only mission essential employees report to work and the rest of the Soldiers and Families on the installation and across the region get to take part in snowball fights.

Fort Campbell began experiencing freezing rain and light snow showers Feb. 14, said Master Sgt. Zack Ferguson, Garrison staff weather officer, Detachment 4, 18th Weather Squadron. By Monday afternoon, all precipitation had turned to snow. The total accumulation at Fort Campbell was 3-4 inches of snow and about 1/10-inch of freezing rain.

Before the fluffier stuff, Cynthia Garcia and her two adult children, Damian and Alyssa, decided to sled Feb. 15 in Pierce Village.

Cynthia relished the bonding experiencing with her children who will soon be leaving home.

“It’s not that often that you get snow at Fort Campbell, especially like this,” she said. “I think this is the last year our kids are going to be home with us, so it was nice to see them be kids.”

Both are attending Austin Peay State University. Damian is preparing for an entrance test to become a customs agent and work for the United States Department of Homeland Security.

For Jessica Nieves and her husband, Spc. Carmelo Nieves, 541st Transportation Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), it was their first significant snow at Fort Campbell and the first ever for their sons, Noah, 8, Joseph, 7, David, 6, and Michael, 4.

“Wow, look how beautiful it is outside,” Noah said. “It’s like a snow wonderland.”

The Nieves enjoyed the snow adventure with their two dogs Jean and Arlo.

“All our son, Noah, wanted to do was make a snow ball, and that’s exactly what he did,” Jessica said. “Then he threw it at his brother, David. It made my heart happy as a Floridian that my boys got to enjoy their first snow.”

It was a struggle Feb. 15 for them to build castles out of the fresh snow. The Family tried again Feb. 16 when the snow was packed and were successful.

The children also enjoyed their own version of dog sledding.

“We tied our dogs up to a laundry basket and had our kids sit inside it and our dogs literally pulled the kids throughout the snow,” Jessica said. “They got to have a free dog sled through the yard.”