FORT BLISS, Texas - "Rangers Lead the Way!" The U.S. Army Ranger motto symbolizes its unique mission set; the ability to deploy forces within 18 hours of notification.
One of the requirements to be an Army Ranger is to complete the grueling 61-day Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. This arduous task requires training and support from loved ones.
Staff Sgt. Austin Forby, cavalry scout, 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment "Dakota," 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (Rotational), graduated from Ranger Class 04-19 at Fort Benning, Georgia, April 5. His wife, Emily, and son, Kason, were there to see him earn the highly-coveted Ranger Tab.
"Without a strong family support network I would have never made it through Ranger School," said Forby. "The letters I received from my family and friends really helped push me through the hard times."
The Forby family comes from the small town of Benton, Illinois, which continued to support them throughout Cole's military service and multiple deployments.
"I, along with different family members and community members at home wrote him over 100 letters," said Emily Forby, who is also the family readiness group leader for Troop A, 2-13th Cav. Regt. "We come from a small town that really supports Cole in everything he does."
Cole is preparing to join the rest of 2-13th Cav. Regt. forward in the Republic of Korea assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division in the coming weeks. Emily and Kason will continue to support their troop as he goes forward along with the rest of his support network from back home, who kept him going through Ranger School.
"After I made some posts on Facebook about Austin being at Ranger School, I had lots of people ask for his address so they could write him," she said. "Our hometown is amazing with support."