Fort Bliss, TX (U.S. Army) — On the cool Friday morning of May 10, Soldiers and families of deployed Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, the “Cobra Strike” Battalion, gathered at the Fort Bliss Rappel Tower and Obstacle Course to overcome their fears and prove they could face new challenges together at the Cobra Strike Battalion’s Spouse Boot Camp.
More than 15 spouses and their families joined the Soldiers with Company F, 1-43 ADA (rear detachment) for a team building exercise that included descending from the rappel tower and negotiating the confidence course.
Standing in bright red, 1-43 ADA Spouse Boot Camp t-shirts, provided by the Cobra Strike Family Readiness Group, the family members and Soldiers first underwent a safety brief by Randy Sutton, Obstacle Course facilities coordinator for Fort Bliss.
Once they all had their harnesses tied and double checked for safety, one by one, each spouse and Soldier climbed the four flights of stairs to the top of the tower. Peering over the edge of the 45-foot tower, everyone faced the same challenge as they all overcame their fears and lowered themselves safely back to the ground.
Following the descent from the rappel tower, the families and Soldiers received another safety briefing before tackling the grueling Confidence Course. After a long morning of physically challenging activities, the families and Soldiers enjoyed a lunch together, shared stories and recovered.
The Cobra Strike battalion is currently deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Spouse Boot Camp was a welcome break from the typical life of the spouse of a deployed Soldier and gave the family members a rare opportunity to strengthen the bond between families and the Soldiers of the rear detachment supporting them while their loved ones are deployed.
“I think everyone had fun, it was a team building experience for the wives,” said Trudy Wyant, the battalion’s family readiness group advisor.
“Our mission is to always support our fellow Soldiers that are forward deployed. Today, that’s by ensuring our families are prepared to face adversity together. Let’s face it, if you can jump off of a tower and navigate this course, you can pretty much handle anything,” said Capt. Jason Welch, Company F and rear detachment commander.
Among all the Soldiers and family members that took part in the event was Jose Marquez, manager, Wal-Mart store #500 at Transmountain Rd., in northeast El Paso. The store is the Cobra Strike Battalion’s corporate sponsor.
“We have adopted the 1-43 ADA Battalion and we try to sponsor all the events they put together. We feel that it is important to be part of the community and to show support for our Soldiers,” said Marquez.