By MARY BARCZAK
Gold Standard Staff Wirter
Three-year old Conner Kirch surveyed the 56-foot tower with his aunt, Melissa Fowler, that his mother, Lia, was about to descend as part of the second No Ordinary Spouse Day Friday.
“Good job mamma,” the pair yelled after she made it down the wall.
No Ordinary Spouse Day gives Army spouses a chance experience a day in their Soldiers’ shoes.
Lia is the wife of Spc. Tommy Kirch, who works at Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment Garrison.
This was the first time Lia had participated in the event, but she said she would do it again, explaining her rappel tower experience.
“The hardest part is the initial kick off,” she said.
Though the weather was a meager 50 degrees and windy Friday, that didn’t discourage 98 spouses from participating in an obstacle course, rappel tower and the Engagement Skills Trainer.
Lt. Col. Jeff Martin, who works at Human Resources Command, accompanied his wife, Noelle, to the event to cheer her on.
“She seems excited,” he said.
His wife didn’t get a chance to participate the first time it was offered last October because they had just moved to Knox.
Jeff was happy to have a day away from work.
The senior leaders rallied the troops before they embarked to engagement skills training.
Maurice Jones was the only male spouse to participate in the event this time.
His wife, Pfc. Elizabeth Jones, who works at 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), was there to support him.
“It was really exciting to see him out there,” she said.
Maurice said it was a “challenge in itself” being the only male out there, but he enjoyed his time.
“I always had a great respect for what she did,” he said. “But this made it an even bigger respect.”
Instructors conducting the assembly and disassembly of weapons portion stressed safety to the spouses and thanked them for coming.
“Your spouses should be confident to know that they can take you to combat now,” said the instructor.
After lunch and a certificate presentation, Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, addressed the group.
“Thank you all for being here,” he said. “We had every unit on post participate this time except for two. We hope you will all come back and do it again.”
Spouses spend day in combat boots
By STAFF SGT. MICHAEL BEHLIN
3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
Some spouses may work with or around Soldiers. Some may have an idea of the daily stressors and rigors involved with being a Soldier. But until the time came to rappel down a 56-foot wall, many of the spouses participating in Fort Knox’s No Ordinary Spouse Day had no clue of what it felt like to be in their Soldier’s boots.
Representing the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in the event were Marinel Burdine and Karen Wheeler. They admitted that they didn’t exactly know what to expect at first, but were able to complete the events as scheduled.
“This event was the first of this kind for me,” said Marinel Burdine, the wife of the 3rd ESC’s Staff Sgt. Gary Burdine. “It was fun to be able to experience a little of what my husband went through during training.”
According to Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Wheeler, the experience was especially rewarding.
“I was so proud of Karen. And to have our son here cheering her on was special,” said Wheeler. “I think she now has a better appreciation of what we do.”
Wives garner insight for ‘crazy hours’
By SPC. ASHLEY BELTRAN
11th Aviation Command Public Affairs NCOIC
Nervous laughter filled the air that breezy Friday morning as Army spouses, accompanied by their Soldiers, stepped out of their comfort zones, and experienced first-hand what it takes to be a Soldier.
Kimberly Hima and Felicia Esquivel, wives of the 11th Aviation Command on Fort Knox, found themselves maneuvering, shooting and rappelling Friday for Knox’s second No Ordinary Spouse Day.
“My entire Family is military, so participating in No Ordinary Spouse Day was more than fitting,” said Hima.
She is the wife of Lt. Col. Michael Hima, who said “I like programs like this because it shows (our spouses) what we do, and why we miss dinners, and work the crazy hours we do.”
For Felicia Esquivel,
however, No Ordinary Spouse Day acted as a glimpse into her near future, since she just enlisted into the Air Force Reserves.
“This definitely gave me some insight as to what I have to look forward to,” said Felicia, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Dionicio Esquivel.
For more photos go to http://goo.gl/4SL41