Family members, of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers, gathered to strengthen their bodies, minds and community.

Spouses of paratroopers assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment participated in the inaugural "Airborne Thunder" fitness event on Aug. 8, 2018 inside Fort Bragg, N.C. at Pope Army Airfield's Woodland Park.

"Airborne Thunders foster community through fitness. Creating an opportunity for our spouses to connect through fitness, sports and recreation improves not only physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, but encourages relationships among the Recon family," said Mrs. Jen Hartsock, the 5-73 CAV's Family Readiness Group Advisor.

Spouses of the Cavalry Squadron met at Woodland Park in the morning to conduct numerous fitness events designed to improve their cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Exercises in the fitness circuit included kettlebell squats, dips and a distance run.

"Today we offered a wide variety of workout to accommodate fitness levels. I'm inspired to say that the majority of the spouses who attended today either just had babies or are expecting," said Hartsock. "The workout was geared to challenge even the fittest while accommodating those unable to participate in a high impact physical event."

In celebration of the coming school year, children were also invited to attend. They enjoyed a nearby playground and an opportunity to have their face painted and receive school supplies.

At the conclusion of Airborne Thunder, senior leadership from the Cavalry Squadron spoke with the spouses about the unit's future training events and other opportunities for them to participate as members of the Family Readiness Group.

"Behind many of our strong soldiers are strong spouses. Gathering together helps create authentic connections which are especially important," said Harstock.