FORT HOOD, Texas-Troopers and leaders of 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hosted Stallion families at a tank gunnery exercises during Family Day, here, Nov. 5.

"Family Day is a perfect opportunity for families to experience our collective training," said Copperas Cove, Texas native, Capt. Anthony Simmons, the event organizer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop.

The event showed families how their Soldiers spend their time in the field while training and qualifying on the M1A2 Abrams tank. Families were able to see and feel the capabilities during the live fire exercise.

Families were shuttled to the Blackwell Target Range, and introduced to static displays of M1A2 Abrams tanks, an M113 mortar track, an M88 recovery vehicle, and a humvee. Families had first hand opportunities to climb in, on and around the vehicles Soldiers use on a daily basis.

Bleachers and a VIP room were provided for families to observe the M1A2 tanks conduct live gunnery lanes. From the VIP room and tower, families saw, heard and felt the tanks firing below.

"It's great to see the parents of Soldiers, children and loved ones see their Soldiers conduct maneuvers with their vehicles," said Kara Gensert, from Waco, Texas, wife of the Co. C commander.

Family Day would not be complete without some good food.

The Killeen Volunteers, who sponsor the Stallions, catered the event. The food resulted in big smiles and full stomachs for everyone watching the 120mm cannon fire of an Abrams tank in the distance.

"It's so great to be out here with families, which is our center of gravity. It's very humbling seeing them and the look in the families and the Soldiers eyes," said Stallion commander, Lt. Col. Robert Rodriguez, from Sante Fe, New Mexico.

It is a true example of "show and tell" for our nation's warriors, demonstrating the kind of training conducted by a heavy combat unit, Rodriguez added.

The Stallions will hold a second Family Day during their M2A3 Bradley live fire gunnery exercises Nov. 19.

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