FORT BLISS, TX — Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, organized a rappel tower and obstacle course day for deployed ’ families at the Fort Bliss Air Assault Course March 9.
Rear detachment Soldiers coordinated the event in an effort to show Soldiers overseas their families are taken care of, said Spc. Foster Cochran, main orchestrator for the event and 4-17 Inf. Regt. Soldier.
“It’s hard enough for the families to be concerned about the Soldiers when they’re gone,” said Cochran. “If the families [are] uneasy… it makes it hard for the Soldiers to do their jobs.”
Approximately 15 families attended the unit’s invitation to enjoy the festivities. Along with the rappel tower, the families navigated the obstacle course, giving them a small taste of what is required of an air assault candidate.
Krystal Johnson and the company family readiness group set up a fundraiser luncheon for all who came to the event. The FRG helped push out the information through Facebook and email.
“I think this is really good,” said Johnson, wife of deployed Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Johnson, of 1st Platoon, Attack Company, 4-17 Inf. Regt. “I’ve seen more kids out there doing stuff than I see adults. They’d like to see what their active military parents do, because they really don’t get to see what’s going on.”
Sgt. 1st Class Julio Martinez, acting first sergeant of 4-17 Inf. Regt., said the main purpose is to take care of the deployed Soldiers’ families, allowing those Soldiers to feel at ease.
“It’s a great turn out, a lot more people than I actually expected,” said Martinez. “We’ll probably end up doing this again in the summer.”