By Paula M. Fitzgerald/ParaglideApril 23, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A young lieutenant whispered to his wife, "Don't embarrass me." She shot him a sarcastic grin and a not-so-friendly finger gesture before her gear was inspected.
After a member of the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment made sure everyone had the necessary equipment, the unit's first Spouses Spur Ride commenced April 9.
The event was a way for the unit's spouses to get to know one another before the squadron deploys this summer.
The squadron was activated last year, so this event has been one of the only chances the spouses have had to meet, explained Lt. Col. Jim Gaylord, squadron commander.
"This is a team building event," Gaylord said. "Plus, it's a way for the wives to get to see what their husbands go through in the Army."
During the daylong spur ride, the spouses tackled an obstacle course, participated in a two-mile march, fired an M-249 squad automatic weapon and took a test about Army knowledge.
"This is the first spouses spur ride I have ever participated in," said Angela Wilson, wife of Capt. Steve Wilson, 1st Sqdn. intelligence officer. "My husband has been in the Army for 10 years, and I've never done anything like this. It's really a lot of fun."
Angela said she was glad to have the opportunity to meet some of the other wives.
Steve explained that he is glad to know that his wife has a network to rely when the unit deploys.
"It's important that the spouses get to know each other so that they can stay connected while we are gone," the captain explained.
"This way they have someone to turn to if they need help."
According to Gaylord, fun was the goal for the day, but he wanted to make sure the women got to experience the physical side of being a Soldier.
"We want the wives to have a good time so that they know we appreciate and thank them for their support," Gaylord said. "I'm sure there were times today that they didn't feel like they were being thanked, but I'm sure they had a good time."
At the end of the spur ride, the wives were honored at a ceremony at McKellar's Lodge, where each woman received a spur-shaped keychain commemorating the day's events.
The squadron will be deploying to Afghanistan for at least a year beginning this summer. The unit is the Army's first reconnaissance and surveillance squadron.