Friday, August 23, 2013
Above is a CBS News piece on the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The brigade is training for missions involving chemical weapons in the hands of an enemy.
This is our unit. These are our guys. Panthers. And I'm definitely feeling hooah after watching them! I'm proud of them. Proud of their expertise, their discipline and their training. But I'm also feeling a little bit shell shocked.
Andrew has been away at training for more weeks than he's been home this summer. "Daddy's in the woods," I tell Madeline (a phrase borrowed from another Army family). And I think, sometimes, that's what I let myself believe, too. I picture Andrew laying in his mosquito net on the ground in the dark, eating a wheat snack bread from his MRE. But I never picture the actual training. I suppose I don't have a detailed enough frame of reference. I just know the basics. Jump into the box. Seize the airfield. Set up a TOC. And then...they...are...in the woods. Etcetera.
But this video of our soldiers reminds me of how real it is. They're not just in the woods. They're not just training. It's not just another field problem. Our husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, they're readying themselves. And come October, as they assume a Global Response Force mission, they will be prepared to deploy anywhere in the world within 18 hours. They will jump into a hostile situation, should the order be given. My husband and his unit, under the command of incredibly competent and dedicated leaders, are making sure that when they go, if they go, they are ready for anything. This training will minimize mistakes. It will help them learn how to function as a team. It will help to ensure that when they go, if they go, everyone will come home.
This time apart is not for naught.
All the way!