• Staff Sgt. Manuel Olvera, intelligence analyst, 45th Military Intelligence Company, paints his wife's face with camouflage paint during the Family Spur Ride sponsored by 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 23, 2011. The event was held to help build bonds between Soldiers and their families and friendships with other families within the unit.

    Cav spouses learn new appreciation for Soldiers’ jobs

    Staff Sgt. Manuel Olvera, intelligence analyst, 45th Military Intelligence Company, paints his wife's face with camouflage paint during the Family Spur Ride sponsored by 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 23...

  • Johanna Olvera, wife of Staff Sgt. Manuel Olvera, intelligence analyst, 45th Military Intelligence Company, navigates a hurdle during the obstacle course portion of the Family Spur Ride sponsored by 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 23, 2011. Trooper’s families participated in the family spur ride in order to get a feel for what a cavalry Soldier does.

    Cav spouses learn new appreciation for Soldiers’ jobs

    Johanna Olvera, wife of Staff Sgt. Manuel Olvera, intelligence analyst, 45th Military Intelligence Company, navigates a hurdle during the obstacle course portion of the Family Spur Ride sponsored by 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, at Joint Base...

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., July 29, 2011 -- As the wives and children of 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Blackhawks, filled the squadron motor pool Saturday morning, the excitement was evident on the faces of those who came to participate in the first Family Spur Ride.

“What we tried to do is take the family member through what a Soldier does on a daily basis,” said Lt. Col. Charles Lombardo, Blackhawks squadron commander

The family members experienced a day in the life of a cavalry trooper. They mounted a Stryker and moved to a training area where they experienced some grueling tasks which are a regular part of a Soldier’s training.

The wives and children navigated an obstacle course, used an Army radio system, smeared on camouflage face paint and learned how to assault a shoot house as a team and take out the enemy inside using water guns.

“I think we learned a little bit about what our husbands do,” said Johanna Olvera, wife of Staff Sgt. Manuel Olvera, an intelligence analyst for the 45th Military Intelligence Company.

Johanna said her favorite part of the day was when she was given a full water gun to kick in doors and soak cavalry Soldiers who played the enemy.

“I wanted her to do this today so that she could have fun, but also get a feel for the Army,” Staff Sgt. Manuel Olvera said.

Events like this build bonds between the Soldiers and their families as well as friendships with other families before deployments.

“It’s important to do things like this because it gives the wives a chance to meet wives from other units and maybe get to know each other so that they can become friends and help each other through tough times when military [members] have to deploy,” Staff Sgt. Manuel Olvera explained.

Lombardo said this event and others like it will become a common occurrence for the Blackhawk Soldiers and their families.

“We’re trying to build esprit de corps and introduce team-building events into our way of life here,” Lombardo said.

Page last updated Fri July 29th, 2011 at 08:31