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Teatime with SMSgt Dad

Senior Master Sgt. Greg Wolhfeil pours tea for his daughter at the Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. on Nov. 8.  After returning from a long training course away from home, Wolhfeil planned special ‘dates’ with each one of his family members to solidify family bonds.  “When I asked my 7-year old daughter where she wanted to go, it was her idea to go to tea,” said Wolhfeil.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

Senior Master Sgt. Greg Wolhfeil pours tea for his daughter at the Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. on Nov. 8. After returning from a long training course away from home, Wolhfeil planned special ‘dates’ with each one of his family members to solidify family bonds. “When I asked my 7-year old daughter where she wanted to go, it was her idea to go to tea,” said Wolhfeil. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

Employees of Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. help the members of the 133rd Airlift Wing have an extra special ‘teatime’ with their daughters on Nov. 8.  To make the occasion even more special, the fathers wore Air Force Blues and suggested to the girls to ‘dress up’ as a way to show them how much they are appreciated.   (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

Employees of Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. help the members of the 133rd Airlift Wing have an extra special ‘teatime’ with their daughters on Nov. 8. To make the occasion even more special, the fathers wore Air Force Blues and suggested to the girls to ‘dress up’ as a way to show them how much they are appreciated. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

Master Sgt. Jason Thompson of the 133rd Airlift Wing makes time for ‘teatime’ with his daughter, Ellie, at the Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. on Nov. 8.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

Master Sgt. Jason Thompson of the 133rd Airlift Wing makes time for ‘teatime’ with his daughter, Ellie, at the Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. on Nov. 8. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

‘Princess’ Annalise has a real life ‘teatime’ with her Dad, Senior Master Sgt. Greg Wolhfeil, at the Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. on Nov. 8.  Wolhfeil, member of the 133rd Airlift Wing, wore his Air Force Blues and suggested his daughter ‘dress up’ as a way to show them how much she is appreciated.   (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

‘Princess’ Annalise has a real life ‘teatime’ with her Dad, Senior Master Sgt. Greg Wolhfeil, at the Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn. on Nov. 8. Wolhfeil, member of the 133rd Airlift Wing, wore his Air Force Blues and suggested his daughter ‘dress up’ as a way to show them how much she is appreciated. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares/Released)

Nov 8th, 2013 -- Helping Airmen, preparing for inspections and endless mandatory training are just some of the responsibilities that can take up a lot of time for any senior enlisted member within the Minnesota Air National Guard.

All of this requires time and attention, but can also equal a lot of time away from family for one senior master sergeant at the 133rd Communications Flight in St. Paul, Minn.

Maintaining a healthy balance between home, work and family life takes work and effort. After returning from another long separation from his family and two young children last year, Senior Master Sgt. Greg Wohlfeil, plans and resources chief, had an idea to help rekindle the bond between him and every one of his family members.

"I wanted to schedule individual dates and have a special time with each of them," said Wohlfeil. "When I asked my 7-year old daughter where she wanted to go, it was her idea to go to tea."

The daddy-daughter duo dressed up, Wohlfeil in his Air Force Blues and young daughter, Annalise, in her 'prettiest princess dress'. They had a great time having tea at the Avalon Tearoom & Pastry Shoppe in White Bear Lake, Minn.

"After seeing what this meant to my daughter, I thought this should be a growing annual event," said Wohlfeil, "I challenged other military dads to step up, get dressed in their service dress and invite their daughters to join us."

For the second year, his daughter loved getting on her favorite 'princess dress', tiara and other adornments fitting for a special day out. Prancing proud and so gracefully in the shoppe, his daughter caught the eye of many passersby before realizing the sentimental moment for the pair.

"How incredibly precious," remarked an onlooker when noticing the 'daddy-daughter date' through the tearoom window.

Master Sgt. Jason Thompson and his daughter, Ellie, joined Wolhfeil for their now annual tradition this year.

"We had a great time," said Thompson, wing information assurance manager, "I always look for quality time to spend with my daughter."

Military members often rely and need the support of the entire family to make the demands of training and deployment less stressful.

"As military members we spend a lot of time away from our families," said Wolhfeil. "It is so important to be intentional about reconnecting individually with our family members."