Today I participated in the "In Their" Boots" at the Air Station. This was basically the same thing as a Jane Wayne day but they wanted to change the name so that male spouses, brothers or fathers could also participate. It was an early day as we had to be there at 8 a.m. for registration. After parking where we were told to and walking what seemed like forever, I finally found the registration tent and located our Family Readiness Officer, Lisa, in her bright yellow H&HS t-shirt. I met the other ladies that were also going to be participating with our group. The day started with opening comments from the Station Commanding Officer, Colonel Hewlett, and then we boarded a bus to head over to the flight simulators (SIMS) for our first stop.
While we were waiting to get into one of the simulators, we were able to see and try on some of the different equipment that our service members are given when they are deployed to Afghanistan. I can't imagine having to wear it for very long or in that heat. They were VERY heavy! Finally, it was our turn to go in one of the simulators and we went to the CH-53. I thought that was kind of cool since that his the helicopter that Dave used to fly. We divided into two groups and I actually got to fly it! The pilot gave us a quick run down on words like "collective" and "torque" and then he let me (with his help I'm sure) take off and fly around for a bit. It was really neat! I switched places and let someone else land it.
After the simulators, our next event was the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program also known as MCMAP. We learned some basic stances and moves and got to beat up on each other for a little bit! No, just kidding but Diana Hewlett did give me a piggy-back ride by accident one time. I'm sure we were quite funny to watch.
Once we completed MCMAP, we had to climb a rock wall. Now I have never climbed a rock wall before in my life so I was kind of nervous but everyone kept saying how easy it was and not hard at all. So, I thought surely I could do this with no trouble since everyone else was. Well, evidently they weren't nearly as nervous as I was nor did their hands sweat as badly as mine did because it WAS NOT EASY! I was so nervous that I felt like my legs were shaking. My hands were sweating so badly that it was hard for me to get my grip. I made it to the top though and then had to come back down. That was nerve wracking also and I was glad when both of my feet were on solid ground again!
Then the time arrived for the event that everyone was dreading (at least I know I was!).....the Combat Fitness Test (CFT). There is actually a video you can watch about the CFT and being the nerd I am, I actually watched it last night to get an idea of what we might be doing. Of course, ours was a modified version, but still! The events we had to do for the CFT were:
- Movement to Contact, which was jsut a short run
- Ammunition Lift, which we could do with either a 15 or 30-pound ammunition can (of course I chose the 15 pounds!)
- Maneuver Under Fire which included a belly crawl, modified high crawl, grenade throw, 3 pushups and agility running
Then we finished up the CFT with a Tug of War. I thought everyone had to do the CFT but several people chose not to do it. Dave and the kids came out to see us and I knew that if I didn't do it, he would give me a hard time. So, after they had called for the last people to compete and were beginning to head over to the Tug of War another girl and I both said we wanted to do it. I don't know why I didn't just keep my mouth shut but I didn't. So, I laid in the dirt on my belly and when they told me to go I started with my belly crawl. That is not easy! I proceeded to do everything and even lost my balance and busted my butt at one point but I got back up and kept going. I couldn't do any of the pushups at that point and the very motivating female marine that was telling me what to do told me to go on to the next thing. The last thing I had to do was run back to the start carrying two ammunition cans with her yelling, um no, MOTIVATING, me to keep going and to FINISH STRONG! It was tough. I have no problem admitting that but I DID IT! YEAH!!!!!!!
And we kicked some butt in the Tug of War. The other team wanted a rematch and we beat them a second time! Woo hoo!
At this point, I was exhausted and thank goodness it was lunch time. We had boxed lunches from Your Way Cafe which Grace and Zachary both helped me to eat.
After lunch we went to the static display where we got to see and get in and talk to the pilots of a Cobra, Huey, Osprey, CH-53, C12 and also a P19 which is the fire truck for the base fire and rescue and a 7-ton truck.
And last but not least, we got to practice shooting the bad guys at ISMT which is simulated firing. And to finish off the day, Sgt Major Crawford attempted to teach us the basics of a formation and how to stand at attention, rest positions, right (left) face, about face and marching basics before getting us into formation and presenting us to LtCol Woodward who then presented us with our certificate of completion.
Dave asked me when I got home if I had fun and I did. It was exhausting.....but fun in a good and hard way. Lisa and all of the FRO's did a fabulous job organizing the event and I'm betting that this will become an annual event.
The H&HS Girls
Me flying the 53
And they're off!
the belly crawl.....
the regular crawl....
running with my ammunition cans and my very motivating marine
Getting ready for tug of war!
Me sitting in a Cobra
All of us in the back of an Osprey
Claire and me "sitting on the toilet" in the C12
Dave and the kids met us over at the static display and they loved it!
Shooting the bad guys (and anything that moved!)
LtCol Woodward presenting my certificate
The H&HS Girls with LtCol Woodward and Sgt Major Crawford