For three females who reside in Georgia and are employed at Georgia Military
College, an all-expense paid trip to Fort Lewis, Washington, sponsored by the
United States Army, is a dream come-true working holiday. Because we interact
daily with cadets enrolled in the junior college program and to better
understand their summer commitment, we were eager to explore the program known
as LDAC, Leadership Development and Assessment Course.
From the moment we boarded that jumbo jet in Atlanta, until we returned to
Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, we were involved in one
after another unforgettable adventure. To my traveling companions
Terri and Barbara, and our newly discovered acquaintances, perhaps BFFs is a
better term, Cindi and Jerri, thank you for the memories.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord is situated in the state of Washington near
Seattle, between Tacoma and Olympia, and on a rare clear day you can glimpse
Mount Rainier; the magnificent mountain that is typically obscured by billowing
clouds. Our comfortable accommodations at The Red Lion Inn were in Olympia,
which is located at the southern end of Puget Sound<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puget_Sound>
on Budd Inlet<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budd_Inlet>,
and serves as the state capital.
Once we completed the registration process, received our identification issue,
and two MREs, meals ready to eat, we packed up our issued carrier equipment bag,
and attended a delightful "A Taste of Italy" evening
buffet. We were joined by our escort/sponsor Kitty and introduced to
other attendees at our designated table that represented the U.S. Army First
Brigade region at the Warrior Forge Educators' Visit.
Before you imagine that this great adventure was purely relaxing, let me divulge
several of the activities offered to our group of travelers.
The first day began with a breakfast buffet at 0630 and a briefing by the
Warrior Forge S3 outlining the schedule through dinner at 1800 with select
cadets. During our early hours we witnessed a demonstration of ground equipment
with live-fire, a presentation of search and destroy techniques, and a static
display of the various Army vehicles. We were encouraged to inspect the
paraphernalia, and the personnel assisted with pictures and pertinent
The level of excitement greatly increased when the officers and facilitators
distributed eye protection and ear-plugs; next on the agenda they announced was
participation in the firing of numerous weapons. Before us was displayed some
of the fire-power of our forces, but first we were provided with safety lessons;
the rules of the firing range.
All the participation was elective but most attendees delighted in firing the
automatic machine gun, a M203 Grenade Launcher, and the Carbine Rifle. The
demonstration area was countless miles wide and one could see other battle
scenarios in practice. The addition of leather gloves, a combat helmet and
firing the weapons under camouflage field netting added to the production drama.
My next iteration will include commentaries on meals ready to eat and
observations of the Atropian people.
Brenda S. Brown
Brenda S. Brown lives in Baldwin County with Otto, her husband of forty years.
They have two grown sons and daughters by marriage, Scott and Kimberly Brown
and Arlin and Brenda Brown, and four grandchildren; Joshua, Caleb, Catherine and
Christen. Her first manuscript, Precious Gems from Ruby, is complete and
She can be reached at www.brendasbrown.com.
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