"Red Dragon" family fun day
May 19, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas- It's hard to imagine what a spouse or parent is doing during a deployment. What is their day to day life like, what do the towns they patrol look like and how do they defend themselves are all questions a family member might wonder.
For the families of the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, their family fun day April 28 was a chance to answer some of these questions as they explored the daily lives of their Soldiers.
Soldiers and their families took part in a patrol through a simulated Iraqi town, fired live machine guns at a range, mounted a simulated military vehicle and practiced shooting an assortment of military weapons at a simulated range.
For Leslie Tyree, wife of Staff Sgt. Richard Tyree, the day was a chance for her and her twin five-year old boys to experience what it's like to be Soldiers for a day.
"They've never gotten to see this before," she said about her boys. "Now they're old enough that they can understand and be able to see what their dad goes through."
"This was a chance to let them see a little bit of the environment...some of the things we do," said Richard. "This gives them a little taste of my normal day."
"We've been married 10 years and I've never gotten to see any of this before," said Leslie.
Besides getting to see what their Soldier does, Richard felt there was another important aspect to the day.
"This gives me and the boys something to talk about while I'm gone," he said. "When they ask 'what are you doing, daddy,' I can say to them that I'm doing the same things we did in the field [on family day]."
Although his sons said they enjoyed hanging out with dad, what they really loved were the "big boy" toys they got to play with.
"The guns were our favorite part of the day," they said happily. "We want to come back and do it again."
Although nothing takes away the stress of a deployment, knowing what your loved one is doing from day to day can help family members understand what their Soldier is going through and gives them a new memory to share.