Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update on an old Comrade of the 5th TX Partisan Rangers

Hey all...I see Merle & Gary have been unable for some reason (may be lack of pictures) to get any pics of their exploits here in late 2008 and into 2009, so I will post a few pics of me in 2009 here in Texas to bring the blog up to speed over the last year. I got tired of seeing Basic Training pics of me here!

Here I am at the 8th TX Terry's Texas Rangers event in Livingston, TX in MAR 2009. A great event indeed! Lots of good riding...

The Harty Family at Livingston, TX

I love this pic of me and JT. He is a great horse...a bit old, but a 20 year reenacting veteran. He'll ride hard till he can't no more. He always knew just what to do and understood the commands...just needed the slightest inclination that I wanted him to execute and he would.

Here I am with my new pal, Larry Pope at Ft. Selden (ruins) NM in SEP 2009. I didn't get a pic of me mounted (yes, I got lucky again and Larry always has 2 horses with him because they are herd bound!) because my Sweetie Pie was sick (fighting a unknown urinary tract/liver infection at the time!) and couldn't take any of me on horseback. But I am again a part of the 5th Texas...this time the 5th Texas Mounted Volunteers under General Sibley out of, well, none other than Ft. Bliss! The group commemorates the history of the Sibley Campaign of 1861/1862 where Gen. Sibley tried to take New Mexico Territory - even California - for the Confederacy. They wore whatever they could get on hand at the time, which was Federal Blue. Also, we do the years at Ft. Selden, which were 1865 to 1890. So a lot of uniform range there during the Indian Wars.Here is a pic of some of the kids with a buddy in front of someone's tent. You can see a wall of the ruins of Ft. Selden there there to the right of the pic. A pretty darn cool place. The Friends of Ft. Selden encamp there monthly. We are looking forward to being a part of the group. You can also see Larry's horses in left background.

Also, I recently completed all my Army Training - 18 SEP 2009 to be exact. Here are a few pics of the highlights from the last year of trainings - October 2008 to September 2009
Here I am at Officer Candidate School Fall of 2008 at Ft. Benning, GA in the Senior Candidate phase (note the annoying white ascot)

Here's me in the field at OCS with a M240b 'light' machine gun. It is quite heavy, but make some great sounding (and surely devastating) suppressing fire!

My Sweetie Pie, Bethany, pinning on my 2LT bars. A proud moment for sure. I wish my Dad was able to pin the other one on, but was unable to make it down. He and Mom had some last minute car repairs that unfortunately prevented the trip...such is life. But it would have been neat to have the 2 people I most respect pin on those bars.

This is me back at Ft. Benning, but this time for Basic Office Leader Course II. It was probably late April. The rounds are my neck are for the awesome and incredibly accurate M 2. Then in my hands are the M240b (7.62 rd) and then on my arms the rounds for the M249 SAW...a big version of M16/M4 that shoots 5.56 rd. It was a lot of fun at the range. Also got to shoot Mark 19 grenade launcher. Almost as fun to shoot as 'ma' duece!

Here I am posing behind 'ma duece' after me and a pal mounted it on the humvee for our range exercise for D Co. at BOLC II. Again, a great machine gun. Actually, this is considered a machine gun, where as an M16/M4 is not. They are a rifle & carbine, respectively.

Here is some of my classmates early on at BOLC III here at Ft. Bliss, TX. Must have been June. This is the Leadership Reaction Course. There are probably 20 elements to the LRC. The LRC was originally developed via discovery by Allied troops at Nazi training camps when we tied up WW II. The LRC was an officer training course (problem solving and team building) for Nazi forces. We immediately saw its value and use it regularly today for all our troops. This is the 2nd time I've gone through the course.

Here is one of my pals standing in front of a Patriot launcher set. We didn't get much time around the actual weapons, as most of our training was with a computer screen. Soon we will be staring at a computer screen for 8 hours at a time. But we did get to the 'park' every now and again.

Here are some of my classmates doing the 'Ranger Challenge Run' it was called. We did the run with probably 30 lbs in the ruck sack (not bad at all...anything around 60 lbs & up and it starts to get heavy). Someone is being carried in a stretcher there. You tried to find the lightest guy you could. We then carried them for about 4 blocks. That was one aspect of the run/course.

Here I am in my Dress Blues...this little set up cost around $600 time you get it all together. This is a formal look here. Red is for Artillery of course...even Air Defense Artillery (to the chagrin of Field Artillery who think they are better everyone else in the Army...)

This is the Army Service Uniform...same thing as the formal, minus the cap - oh and the bowtie. I'm not wearing it in the pic above, but would with that cap likely.

Here I am finally, at graduation from BOLC III...18 SEP 2009. About 14 months of training, pretty much non-stop. Finally complete...now onto my unit - C. Battery, 2-43 BN Air Defense Artillery, 11th BDE.

And of course, none of this would have really been possible if my super awesome and supportive wife, Bethany, was not with me every step of the way, encouraging me to press on when it was tough, praising when things were well, and always there to say it was right to do. After all, I well may not have decided to join the Army if not for her knowledge that it was the right thing to do...


Brent said...

Hi Brent,

I don't remember if I responded to your email about the updates on your blog, but they are really neat pictures! The pictures of your whole family are really beautiful. They are all getting so big! Gosh, I miss you all so much, but I know that you are doing what you really were destined to do and that you are all learning and experiencing things that will make you even greater people, if that is possible!

I, well all of us, are so happy for you and your beautiful family. I remember a lot of the neat things that we experienced as a family and realize how much I enjoyed being with all of you as you were growing up, so I have an inkling of how much you enjoy your family too! They are so neat!

Well you take care and give everybody big hugs and kisses for me!

I love you beloved!

Brent said...

Thanks Dad...I appreciate the comments and yes, it is a great deal of fun watching all these kids get bigger all time! We try to savor the moments, as they slide by ever faster! love bh

m52a2 said...

Thanks Brent. You and your family are a reminder of why I am proud to be an American. An Inspiration to me to be a better husband to my devoted wife, and a better father for my 9 children. Ed in Michigan.

m52a2 said...

Thanks Brent and family, You and your family are a great example of why I am proud to be an American. You inspire me to be a better husband for my devoted wife, and father to our 9 children. Ed P. in Michigan, U.S.A.