With the majority of the brigade having recently returned from vacation after their deployment, the Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division are beginning the transition from life in a combat zone to life in garrison.
While it may seem like an easy transition, garrison operations have its own challenges and to help his Soldiers ease back into this way of life, Lt. Col. Kenneth Crawford, the commander of the brigade's Special Troops Battalion instituted a week of games and sports that he simply called "Spartan Fun Week."
From March 3 to 7, the Spartan battalion hosted daily events such as bowling, paintball and a softball and golf tournament, and the Soldiers were encouraged to bring their families with them to each event.
"After 15 months of working 10 to 18 hour days, Soldiers deserve a little bit of a break with their families," Crawford said. "So the intent was to let Soldiers bring their families in and to enjoy a little bit of activities other than work related and reignite the camaraderie that they had over in Iraq."
Sgt. Joshua Hambly, a military policeman with Headquarters Company agreed with Crawford's assessment, saying that the week was good for unit cohesion and that it allowed him to reconnect with some of his fellow Soldiers who he didn't get a chance to see much while in Iraq.
Crawford added that it not only allowed his veteran Soldiers to reconnect with one another, but the week also helped to integrate new Soldiers that the battalion's rear detachment received while the bulk of the battalion was deployed.
"This makes them feel like part of the battalion," Crawford said.
For spouses such as Michelle Parker, whose husband Sgt. Josh Parker served on Crawford's personnel security detail while in Iraq, the week was not only a chance to spend time with their loved ones, but also an opportunity to meet the Soldiers that their family members lived with for 15 months.
"I like spending time with my husband; so it's nice to come and see and meet people," Michelle said. "Some of them have come over to our house, but it's just like his best friends; so now I get to meet a bunch of people here so that's good."
Crawford said that having the opportunity to see his Soldiers relaxing with their families was rewarding for him.
"It's a homecoming and they deserve this," he said. "I'm very proud of this battalion and their accomplishments while overseas, and they have left a legacy that these Soldiers can be proud of.'
'I'm proud to command some of the best Soldiers in the United States Army. It's been an honor and a great opportunity for me to do that."