Washington - Part 1

By Brenda S. Brown

 

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 information.

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 awaiting publication. 
 
She can be reached at www.brendasbrown.com
 
 

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