|A wonderful, welcome sight|
upon arriving at Ft. Benning
|Our breakfast setting|
|SFC Helland, me, Ben, and CSM|
Mitchell pose outside Patton Hall
We departed The Marshall house for the Command Group Headquarters of the 316th Cavalry Brigade. We were visiting Ft. Benning as guests of Colonel Dougherty and the 3-sixteen. COL Dougherty had been called in to a meeting, but Command Sergeant Major Mitchell was there to greet us at the beginning of what would be a great day...
|Welcomed to the range|
We left Patton Hall and headed off for the range. SGT Helland drove us all out to the range where we were met by a large group of personnel, and two M1A2 SEP Abrams battle tanks.
|Me, SFC Wainwright,|
Amanda, and ben
|The most destructive husband and|
wife Ft. Benning has ever seen!
We made our way over to the second tank. Amanda and I would join SGT Wainwright to help him fire a few rounds, before Ben would trade places with Amanda for the last few rounds.
We had seen the inside of the other tank with SGT Wainwright, but seeing helmets waiting for us in the gunner's seat and loader's seat immediately lifted my level of excitement -- if that were possible!
I made my way down in to the gunner's seat and Amanda climbed down to the loader's seat. SGT Wainwright was in the tank commander's chair, and here's what followed...
The violence inside the tank isn't much compared to the blast outside (Marines in older versions).
Not bad to do all that before lunch!
|Mementos from COL Dougherty|
At the conclusion of lunch, COL and Mrs. Dougherty presented Amanda, Ben, and I with certificate granting us Honarary status as members of the 316th Cavalry Brigade. We also received a coin from COL Dougherty -- a "coin" being a token given by a commanding officer to a subordinate in reward of excellence.
Ft. Benning continued to roll out the red carpet for us; we had front row seats for the firepower demonstration.
After the briefings, the presentation area was cleared in preparation for live fire.
What followed was a deafening barrage of fire; mortars, cannons, .50cals, and various small arms. It was amazing and awe-inspiring...
COL Rauhut continued to treat us like VIPs; we were invited in to one of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles and given the opportunity to see its power up close.
After lighting up targets on the range in the Bradley, we then stepped down to a firing line to try some of the "small" arms on display. I say, "small," but the first rifle I fired was the Barrett 99 - a rifle that shoots .50cal ammunition.
In keeping with previous events that day, our experience at the NIM was simply wonderful. The entire museum is a great testament to the Infantry. I strongly recommend you visit.
At the conclusion of our visit to the NIM, we returned to the Marshall House and grabbed some much-needed rest.
We finished our whirlwind visit to Ft. Benning by taking a quick jaunt in to Columbus and eating at The Black Cow. It was the perfect end to the perfect day.
I can't thank people enough for making our visit possible, and for making it such a memorable day.
Another dream come true