A major chapter in our lives is about to end: we will be leaving Fort Benning this Saturday after spending the first three years of our marriage here. Our next home will be in Colorado Springs as I join 3-61 Cav, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division and quickly deploy to Afghanistan.
Our time here at Benning was quite memorable. Here's the "highlights":
We discovered that Savannah HATES para-sailing over the ocean.
I dislocated and broke my ankle at the pre-ranger course. It hurt.
We did some volunteering in Biloxi, Mississippi and helped paint a house for someone displaced by hurricane Katrina.
We got roofied from an open bottle of tequila that I brought home from a Best Ranger competition event. There is no photo with this because Savannah and I remember absolutely nothing after we made our first margarita with that tequila at our apartment. Just goes to show that sometimes you can't even trust a bunch of 30 and 40 year old rich people at a donor event involving Rangers. Needless to say, we did not finish the rest of the bottle and decided it was best to throw it in the garbage.
Savannah made her first ever hole-in-one on a mini-golf course in Panama City.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time hand-sewing a ghillie suit for sniper school. I was really surprised it turned out so well considering I always sewed with one hand while holding my whiskey/7-up in the other hand.
But the hard work all paid off in the end. I had never imagined I would be a sniper-qualified soldier in the Army.
My dad and I reached a new personal best in elevation out in Colorado. That day was also the first time I heard my dad utter the phrase "I am so sick of this s**t" while we side-sloped for a solid half mile on loose rocks. Good times. Our next battle will be conquering Long's Peak.
I embraced my inner math geek and passed Pathfinder school. I couldn't have done it without my wife willingly agreeing to only talk to me at dinner and at bedtime. Every other minute of the afternoon/night was spent studying.
I commissioned as an Armor 2LT and kissed my days as an enlisted soldier goodbye. Picking a branch was an extremely difficult decision. There were a few days when I had contemplated picking an "easy" branch like Quartermaster or Transportation(I mean nothing negative by that), but even my wife pointed out to me that I would never have the same pride in my job as I would if I stayed in a combat arms job. So I broadened my horizons a bit and chose Armor. I'm glad I picked it and I'm gonna be the best Armor officer in my year group, but every day I still miss the Infantry and the mentality that went with it.
Bryce Michael Maurer joined our family in May 2013!
Bryce made quick work of growing as many chins as his daddy and grandpa have.
He also quickly learned how to wear a tie much better than his daddy.
Duke got spooked by the 4th of July fireworks and ran himself to the point of passing out. We eventually found him passed out in the road and had to cover him with ice-sheets to get his body temperature back down to safe levels.
Savannah won two 5k races and finished 2nd for her age in the 2013 Soldier's Marathon. Oh, she won the 5k races while PUSHING A STROLLER.
I "worked" the oxygen machines on the sideline at a Packers game at Lambeau Field. I'll never forget that game.
Bryce grew into a handsome little guy who can make the ladies' hearts flutter. I don't know who he got that from...
I have to say that our time here at Fort Benning ended up much better than anything I had imagined when we first moved down here. Yes, there were plenty of times when I hated being in TRADOC and could not wait to leave, but everything worked out very well in the end. Not too shabby results from a 3-year re-enlistment I did back in 2010 in Afghanistan.