FORT HOOD, Texas - As 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers begin their return from their year-long deployment to Iraq, they will come back with their "combat spurs."

So, as not to be outdone by their Soldiers, more than 70 "Greywolf" spouses got together and earned theirs as well Oct. 29, at Fort Hood, during 3rd BCT-hosted "Spouses' Spur Ride."

Throughout the year their loved ones were deployed the Family Readiness Support assistance held many different events for their Family members, but they wanted to make one of the last events for only the spouses.

"We decided to put on the spouses' spur ride to build teamwork amongst 3rd Brigade spouses; we wanted to end this deployment cycle with a great event geared specifically for our spouses," said Lori Carpenter, the 3rd BCT FRSA of Bennington, Vt.

Although the spouses' spur ride is a scaled-down version of an actually spur ride their Soldiers would go through, the spouses received a chance to get a small taste of what their Soldiers do.

"I was exhausted, but I had a great time building camaraderie with the other spouses," said Maribel Cabrera, of Santa Maria, Calif., after she was done with the obstacle course. "My husband would be proud of me because it is the first type of any military training I have been associated with."

The rear detachment cadre put the spur candidates through a rifle simulator where they had to engage enemy targets, and they had a chance to drive tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicles through simulation. Yet, for their land navigation, they had to do what Soldiers would do to find points on a map. They completed the spur ride with an obstacle course which included a grenade toss, low-crawling station and a litter carry, and some playful hazing by rear detachment brigade commander Maj. Charles Jack, of Fort Worth, Texas, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion rear detachment commander Capt. Santos Arroyo, of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, and rear detachment sergeant major Master Sgts. Larry Day, of Gilmanton Iron Works, N.H., and Jimmy Peters, the 3rd BSTB noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Van Buering, Ark.

For most of the spouses, the best part of the spur ride aside from the camaraderie was the new sense of appreciation they had for their Soldiers.

"This was hard - running that obstacle course - the sounds of gunfire and explosions, and those barriers were hard to get over. I was out of breath from the running and crawling ...," said Jennifer Santa of Killeen, Texas. "Now, I appreciate my husband more for what he does - I couldn't do it; wouldn't do it."

For their efforts, the rear detachment command presented the candidates with a set of spur lapel pin and a certificate as a symbol of their commitment and hardships they have endured while their Soldier was deployed, Carpenter said.

For Carpenter and her team of FRSA's, this event, weeks away from seeing their brigade's troops come home from Iraq, was nothing more than a way for them to wrap up a deployment from the home front.

"We have all had challenges this past year, and this event was planned to relieve some stress, come together as a team before our Soldiers head home and to just plain have fun," Carpenter said.

Day said the event was a huge success due to all of those who helped organize the event and worked to make sure it ran smoothly.

"Without the extreme effort of Lori and the other FRSAs, this event would not have happened," Day said. "Lori went way above and beyond the requirements of her position to make this event a success and the entire brigade owes a great debt of gratitude to her and all the FRSAs."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16