<b>FORT STEWART, Ga.</b> - Approximately 100 spouses of recently deployed Vanguard Soldiers braved the 30-degree temperature to take part in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team's second Combat Spouse's Badge event, Nov. 6.

The day long event consisted of the Army Physical Test, including the two mile run, military operations on urban terrain, weapons marksmanship, drill and ceremony and litter carry with a simulated wounded Soldier.

The morning's event started off like a typical Army morning - P.T., except in their case with the APFT complete with the two mile run, sit-ups and push-ups. For a few Spouses it too was typical day.

"I am having a great time," said Erin Kones, wife of Maj. Mathew Kones. "I've been training for the Army 10K run in December."

Several of the spouses had been training before the event and it showed.

"A couple of weeks ago I started training two times a week and then moved it up to three times per week," said Kailey Baldridge, wife of Spc. Coltan Baldridge. "The spouses of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment have been training very hard and doing P.T. at night, drill and ceremony in the morning at the battalion," she said. "My two-mile run time has gone from 24 minutes to 15 minutes in just three weeks. I feel amazing."

For some Spouses, they achieved what many Soldiers strive to accomplish-the APFT badge.
"We had four spouses qualify for the APFT badge," said Major Darell Robinson, 4th IBCT brigade commander-rear. "The spouses that qualified for the badger are Christina Hale, John Edwards, Tami Bergmann and Tina Winn," he added.

"We are planning to award them with the patch at a future Family Readiness Group meeting."
After the APFT, the spouses moved on to one of four stations, rotating upon the completion of each station.

Before the somewhat quiet, yet anxious, face-painted Spouses were handed their weapons to enter the 4th IBCT Brigade Headquarters to clear for would -be bad guys, they received their briefing and instructions.

The quiet didn't last long. Soon the four-member spouse teams completed their mission and upon exiting the building words like "cool" and "wow " were cheerfully followed by comments such as, "that was a blast", "I got'em", and "did you see me'", were heard throughout the brigade headquarters parking lot.

Support in the rear from Spouses is almost as normal as peanut butter and jelly is to milk, but for one spouse particular, the role was mutual received from her Soldier.

"When I told my husband I was doing this he said "Go get'em," said Stephanie Brown, wife of 1st Sgt. Chad Brown. "He is pretty supportive," she said proudly.

Trophies were awarded to the top three teams.

The first place trophy went to the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, the second place trophy went to the 4-3 Brigade Troops Battalion and third place went to 3/7 Inf., said Maj. Robinson.

"This is a great way for us to share experiences with our Soldiers and to show our support for our Soldiers down-range," said Michelle Lartigue, wife of Vanguard Brigade Commander, Col. Lou Lartigue. "Most importantly, I would like to thank the spouses who are supporting their Soldier's down-range and thank them for working as a team, not only today, but throughout the deployment."

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