By Spc. Adam Turner 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsMarch 5, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - As the Soldiers of the 1st Air Cavalry "Warrior" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, prepare to return home from Iraq in late March, the unit's rear detachment and a few 1st ACB spouses have found a way to build momentum, enthusiasm and heart pounding anticipation for what is sure to be a glorious homecoming for 'their' returning heroes.
A 'spur-ride' is usually reserved as a soldiering skills competition for highly motivated troopers to showcase their willingness to be the best of the best. But, with the best the ACB has to offer currently trekking around the skies of Baghdad, it is the spouses who have stepped up to fill their boots and bring the 'Warrior' family together in preparation for their Soldier's return.
Nearly 100 spouses attended the event to try their best at several different military training events to include land navigation, flight simulation, grenade [water balloon] course, and even a blind folded "name that MRE [Meal Ready to Eat]" competition.
Elizabeth Garcia's husband Maj. R.J. Garcia is the operations officer in charge for the 4th battalion 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB. Garcia's partner in crime and co-event coordinator Christine Holcroft, whose husband Capt. Robert Holcroft, is the assistant operations officer for the 4th Bn. 227th Avn. Regt., are the brainchildren of the event who have teamed with the ACB rear detachment in making the spur a ride reality.
"A lot of the other brigades have returned recently and we had seen pictures of them doing things like this and we thought we should do that, said Garcia who is from San Antonio, Texas.
"We finally just "wined" enough," added Boise, Idaho native Holcroft. "It was important to us to get this done before our Soldiers returned home, and the command really jumped on board and helped us get this organized, we know this wouldn't have been possible without the work of the "green suitors."
Scattered about in small teams the spouses began to make their way through all the events gaining some perspective into their significant others' duties along the way.
With their faces in the dirt low crawling through the mud, securing and carrying an injured Soldier on a litter, and many learning to read a compass for the first time; however no event brought these spouses closer to the challenges their Soldiers face daily during deployment like the UH-60 Blackhawk flight simulator.
The simulator was definitely my favorite," said Audra Kelly wife of Chief Warrant Officer Christian Kelly, who is an instructor pilot with the 3rd Bn., 227th Avn. Regt, 1st ACB. "It was very interesting to see just what it is that he does every day. I know he is very good at what he does; he is a constant professional when he is flying, so it was an awesome opportunity to be able to stand in his shoes and perform. I couldn't have enjoyed this day more, my team worked well together and I think we kicked some butt!"
There were no decided winners of the event as the main goal was for these spouses who have endured another 1st ACB deployment to have fun, and enjoy some time with those who make up their extended military family.
"The intent was to do a team building exercise for the family members to get them excited about the return of their spouse," said Maj. Daniel Legereit, 1st ACB Rear Detachment Commander. "Getting them out here having a good time, enjoying the "Air Cavalry spirit, these spouses have been nothing but supportive to us during this deployment. So we are happy to put this event on as the easiest way for us to say thank you and we support you."