By Maj. Anthony ClasNovember 8, 2019
DONA ANA, New Mexico - The strength of our Soldiers is our Families, November is the Month of the Military Family.
Soldiers with 1st Battalion "Death Dealers", 67th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, were reunited with their loved ones during a Family Day event organized by the battalion leadership at Dona Ana, New Mexico, Nov. 2, to improve unit morale.
"It's very important to get the Families out here because it gives the families an opportunity to see what all their spouses have been doing over the past few weeks." said 1st Sgt. Michael De Leon, native of Pensacola, Florida, senior enlisted advisor for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. "It shows them what living conditions their soldiers or spouses have to endure, and it also gives them an opportunity to see the capabilities of some of the weapons systems that some of these soldiers actually use."
The Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regt., have been conducting gunnery at Dona Ana Range Complex since Oct. 22. Family Day activities included: static displays of several military vehicles; live-fire demonstrations of the M1151 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and M1A2 Abrams Tank; and lunch provided by the unit's Family Readiness Groups. The opportunity to take a pause and spend the day with family members was more than a welcome occasion for the troops.
"I like this, it feels good, and my daughter enjoys it too," said Sgt. Gerardo Torres, native of Fort Worth, Texas, signal support systems specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 67th Armor Regt., 3rd ABCT, 1st AD.
Sgt. Torres spent the day reconnecting with his wife, Dianna, and daughter, Ellie. It's not easy being a Soldier in the field, but it's also a daunting task managing a home and family's day-to-day activities alone.
"He's been in the service for almost eight years now, but now that we have her (Ellie) it's a little bit more challenging," said Dianna Torres, native of Fort Worth, Texas, spouse of Sgt. Torres. "She's (Ellie) talking now and she's always asking for her dad. She's like 'Dada' and I'm like I'm sorry baby he's not here."
The collective training for the Soldiers with 1st Bn., 67th Armor Regt., at Dona Ana Range Complex will culminate prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday, and there is still more to be done. However, the family members who attended the Family Day event will leave with a better understanding of the living conditions, training, and challenges they are facing to be a stronger and more cohesive unit.