Many spouses may not understand their soldiers’ job or why they have to be in the field for weeks at a time, so to help give them a soldiers’ perspective, families spent a day with their soldiers during gunnery.
The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hosted a family day at Clabber Creek Multiuse Range on Oct. 19.
Family members of the “Mustang” battalion were invited out to the range to see a tank live-fire exercise, visit with their soldiers, enjoy fall-inspired food and learn about the armor equipment, said 1st Lt. Aaron Scherffius, the Mustang’s engineer officer.
The unit’s family readiness group helped organize the event, which boosted morale and brought families together.
“Family day was a big morale boost for the soldiers,” Scherffius said. “Also, it allows the spouses and families to gain a better understanding of what their soldiers do and what equipment they use.”
Victoria Branam said she was very excited for this day as it was an opportunity to see her husband’s work up close and get to spend time with him since his departure to the field almost two weeks prior.
“It is really cool and exciting. I have a better appreciation of what my husband does,” she said.
“(Victoria) gets to see what I do, the equipment I use and how we as soldiers bond,” said Pfc. Adam Branam, a Mustang Bradley gunner. “The spouses also see the massive responsibility that is entrusted to (the soldiers).”
Jenna Bowman said it was a great opportunity to get a detailed perspective on her husband’s work but was more excited just to see him, 1st Sgt. Adam Bowman, first sergeant of Bravo Company.
“(Soldiers) are like a family. In the field they are together, work together and stay in sync,” she said.
Additionally, soldiers were able to take pride in showing off their work and introducing their families to other Mustang families.
“I feel good showing off my expertise, no matter what area of work it is in. It gives me a sense of pride,” Adam Branam said. “My wife and I were able to meet other spouses, which really helped complete field day.”
Speaking with numerous family members, three positives came from the field day, said Lt. Col. Matt Kinkead, battalion commander. “They see how important their soldier’s contributions to the unit are, they have a better perspective on life in the field and they know how much their support means to the battalion.”
The next family event is scheduled for December.