Tagged: medical

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Trump's transgender military ban 'worse than don't ask, don't tell,' advocates say

The Trump administration released two documents on Friday outlining the president’s ban on transgender people serving in the military[1]. While LGBTQ-rights advocates say this new measure is even more discriminatory than the now-defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, they also note that recent court rulings prevent the ban from actually taking effect.

The administration’s first document, a memo[2] signed by the president, stated that “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances.”

 President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House on March 23, 2018 in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

The second document[3], titled “Department of Defense Report and Recommendations on Military Service by Transgender Persons,” lays out the specific policy recommendations regarding trans individuals serving U.S. military. The 46-page report stated that the department had concluded “accommodating gender transition could impair unit readiness,” “undermine unit cohesion” and “lead to disproportionate costs.”

“This new policy will enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards — including those regarding the use of medical drugs — equally to all individuals who want to join and fight for the best military force the world has ever seen,” the White House said in a statement[4] released on Friday.

“CATEGORICAL BAN”

The new report states “nothing in this policy precludes service by transgender persons who do not have a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and are willing and able to meet all standards that apply to their biological sex.”

Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), disagreed, claiming such a policy constitutes a “categorical ban” of transgender people from the military by requiring service members to live as their sex assigned at birth.

“It means you can’t be transgender,” Minter said. “This is worse than ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in its justification … It would be as though the government had tried to justify the DADT policy by saying that you can serve in the military if you say you will stop being gay.”

With DADT, which was ended in 2011, “the government never went so far as to say that being lesbian or gay is not a legitimate identity and [lesbians and gays] should undertake therapy to become straight, but that is what this report is saying about transgender people,” according to Minter.

He argued the ideas in the plan “have zero medical credibility” and are “lifted whole from anti-transgender propaganda put out by right-wing groups.”

“PANEL OF EXPERTS”

A federal judge issued a court order[5] on Tuesday requiring that the Department of Justice disclose the names of the military experts the Trump administration consulted regarding its transgender military ban. On Thursday, the Justice Department filed a response[6] to the judge’s order, stating the administration chooses “not to identify” those consulted.

The Justice Department “is coming close to defying court orders,” Minter said. “They do not want to disclose what lay behind this process.”

An article published by Slate[7] on Saturday, which cited multiple unnamed sources, claimed that Trump’s “panel of experts” included several people with histories of opposing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, including Vice President Mike Pence[8]; anti-transgender activist Ryan T. Anderson[9]; and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins[10]. NBC News has not independently verified Slate’s findings.

Friday’s report addressed the findings and recommendations of a 2016 study commissioned by the Department of Defense and conducted by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank. That report found no reason to prevent the enlistment and service of openly transgender individuals. The new report stated the Pentagon had “reached a different judgment on these issues” than RAND and the previous administration, adding that the issue is “more complicated.”

Natalie Nardecchia, senior attorney at LGBTQ civil rights organization Lambda Legal, slammed Friday’s report and said the previous administration “did a real report and did a real analysis … and then they enacted a policy.”

“That is the way it’s supposed to work, and this is the very opposite,” she said of the Trump administration’s findings.

“NO IMMEDIATE IMPACT”

Minter said the new policy is “as bad as it could be.” However, he said it has “no immediate impact,” because “federal courts have already issued orders saying the ban cannot be enforced.”

On Friday, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. David Eastburn echoed Minter’s assessment, saying the announcement of a new policy would have no immediate practical effect on the military, because the Pentagon is obliged to continue to recruit and retain transgender people in accordance with current law.

Minter said he does not expect any impact on currently enlisted soldiers or those attempting to enlist in the near future. However, because of what he called the plan’s “complete repudiation of transgender identity,” Minter said transgender troops may face additional stigma.

 Nicolas Talbott Courtesy of Nicolas Talbott

Nicolas Talbott, a 24-year-old transgender recruit from Lisbon, Ohio, said for now his enlistment process continues to advance.

“It’s going great,” he told NBC News. “I’m working with a wonderful recruiter, and at this moment we are waiting to … schedule a date for my physical exam and written test.”

Talbott said Friday’s documents were discouraging and felt like “another bump in the road,” but he said this just “reaffirms the fight is not over.”

“I am very optimistic that I’m going to get into the U.S. Air Force,” Talbott said. “There is nothing about being transgender in any way, shape or form that impacts an individual’s ability to serve.”

Nardecchia, agreed, saying “there is no medical or scientific support for presuming that transgender people are unfit.” Gender dysphoria, she added, “is a fully treatable condition that only some transgender people experience.”

“LEGALLY IRRELEVANT”

Civil rights groups, including the ACLU, Lambda Legal, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), NCLR and Equality California brought four different lawsuits before federal courts last year in attempts to block the transgender military ban. The courts issued preliminary injunctions, which prevent even this newly released implementation plan from taking effect.

Late last year, two different federal courts rebuffed the administration’s efforts to delay the enlistment of transgender troops, and the Justice Department declined to appeal those decisions[11]. Openly transgender troops began to enlist on January 1.

“Anything that the government comes forward with now is legally irrelevant,” Nardecchia said, adding that the burden is on the government to demonstrate a persuasive justification to stop allowing transgender troops to serve openly.

Nardecchia called Friday’s report “reverse engineering” in an attempt by the government to provide the courts with a valid justification for the ban.

“WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING”

On Tuesday, Nardecchia and other attorneys from Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, which together represent nine transgender service members, will seek a permanent injunction against the ban.

“We are asking for the court to grant a summary judgment — without going to trial — and to permanently prevent the ban from going into law,” she explained.

Nardecchia said she doesn’t know when the court might hand down a decision, but she’s “optimistic.”

“We will keep fighting until we get a final judgment,” she added.

The release of the new transgender military policy, according to Minter, is good for LGBTQ advocates fighting the ban. “We now know exactly what we have to rebut in the court,” he said.

Minter is working on a separate case from Nardecchia, Doe v. Trump. The lawsuit, which was filed by NCLR and GLAD, was the first to challenge the ban.

“We are proceeding with discovery, which is all the more important now,” he said. “Where did they come up with these discredited views? What was this process? Who was involved?”

Minter expects the government — as it did in its refusal to disclose its “panel of experts” — to appeal any decision not in its favor.

“Eventually it is likely that it will reach the Supreme Court,” he said of the transgender military ban.

FOLLOW NBC OUT[12] ON TWITTER[13], FACEBOOK[14] AND INSTAGRAM[15]

References

  1. ^ ban on transgender people serving in the military (www.nbcnews.com)
  2. ^ memo (www.lambdalegal.org)
  3. ^ document (www.lambdalegal.org)
  4. ^ statement (www.whitehouse.gov)
  5. ^ court order (www.washingtonblade.com)
  6. ^ filed a response (www.washingtonblade.com)
  7. ^ published by Slate (slate.com)
  8. ^ Mike Pence (www.nbcnews.com)
  9. ^ Ryan T. Anderson (thinkprogress.org)
  10. ^ Tony Perkins (www.glaad.org)
  11. ^ declined to appeal those decisions (www.nbcnews.com)
  12. ^ NBC OUT (www.nbcnews.com)
  13. ^ TWITTER (twitter.com)
  14. ^ FACEBOOK (www.facebook.com)
  15. ^ INSTAGRAM (www.instagram.com)
0

After reports of chemical attacks, White House considers new military action against Syrian regime

The Trump administration has considered new military action against the Syrian government in response to reports of ongoing chemical weapons use, officials said, raising the prospect of a second U.S. strike on President Bashar al-Assad in less than a year.

President Trump requested options for punishing the Assad government after reported chlorine gas attacks — at least seven this year — and possibly other chemicals affecting civilians in opposition-controlled areas.

In a Feb. 25 incident, residents and medical staffers in a rebel-held Damascus suburb, Eastern Ghouta, described symptoms associated with chlorine exposure. One child died, medical staffers reported.

The president discussed potential actions early last week at a White House meeting that included Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, officials said.

One official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to address internal deliberations, said that the president did not endorse any military action and that officials decided to continue monitoring the situation.

Dana White, chief Pentagon spokeswoman, denied that Mattis took part in discussions about military action in Syria and said the “conversation did not happen.”

One senior administration official said that Mattis was “adamantly” against acting militarily in response to the recent chlorine attacks and that McMaster “was for it.”

The prospect of renewed military action, even if tabled for now, underscores the explosiveness of a conflict that has become a battlefield for rivalries between Russia and Iran on one side and the United States and its allies on the other.

The White House discussions come amid a drumbeat of accusations from Trump administration officials, who have sought to galvanize international pressure on Syria over repeated small-scale chemical attacks amid an escalation of widespread conventional air and ground assaults that have killed hundreds of civilians in recent weeks.

On Monday, the Assad government allowed a U.N. aid convoy to deliver food and other aid, but not certain medical supplies, to Eastern Ghouta, even as shelling and airstrikes continued.

The Trump administration has condemned Iran for deploying weapons and fighters that have helped turn the war in Assad’s favor. It has also blamed Russia for failing to enforce a U.N.-backed cease-fire proposal and for allowing the use of chemical weapons to continue.

“The civilized world must not tolerate the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical weapons,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Sunday.

Russian and Syrian officials have rejected reports of government chemical weapons use.

Images of Syrians suffering the effects of chemical exposure appear to have energized the president to explore launching a new assault, as they did before the missile attack he authorized on a Syrian air base in April.

Trump ordered the Pentagon to fire Tomahawk missiles[1] on the Syrian facility believed to be linked to a sarin gas attack that killed 80 people. It was the first direct American assault on the Assad government, a step that President Barack Obama had shied away from, even after an estimated 1,400 people were killed in a gruesome attack[2] in August 2013.

[New chemical attacks reported in Syria, and Trump administration blames Russia[3]]

Administration officials say Syria has continued to make and employ chemical weapons despite an internationally backed deal[4] to remove its stockpiles after the 2013 incident.

According to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which tracks reports from medical staffers, patients have reported symptoms linked to chlorine exposure seven times this year. In November, also in Eastern Ghouta, hospitals described seeing patients with symptoms indicative of sarin, the society said.

Unlike with earlier deadly incidents, U.S. officials say, the Assad regime is now conducting only small-scale attacks and is relying mainly on chlorine, which is made from commercially available materials and is more difficult to detect than nerve agents such as sarin.

“They clearly think they can get away with this if they keep it under a certain level,” a senior administration official told reporters last month.

Officials also suspect Syria of using ground-based systems rather than aerial means for delivering chemical agents, because they are harder to track.

The Syrian government has resorted to such attacks, officials say, to compensate for manpower shortages and to discourage supporters of the opposition from returning to strategic areas.

Even as the U.S. military winds down its campaign against the Islamic State, the Trump administration risks being more deeply drawn into Syria’s civil war, in which NATO ally Turkey is another important player. Many U.S. officials say that only greater political stability can prevent the extremists’ return.

The Pentagon has sought to keep its mission in Syria tightly focused on the Islamic State. There are about 2,000 U.S. troops in the east and north, tasked with advising local forces who have been battling the extremists.

[Trump administration: Syria probably continuing to make, use chemical weapons[5]]

Some officials also have raised concerns about conclusively assigning responsibility for chlorine attacks. Others express skepticism that another strike would deter Assad when the last one did not.

But other officials, particularly at the White House and the State Department, appear more open to renewed action against Assad. They say that a U.S. response might deter the Assad regime from rebuilding its chemical arsenal in a way that might eventually threaten the United States and might demonstrate that the United States will not be deterred by Russia’s presence in Syria.

The discussions highlight the gray area that chlorine has occupied in the West’s response to chemical weapons use in Syria. While chlorine is not a banned substance, its use as a choking agent is prohibited under international chemical weapons rules.

The Assad government’s reported employment of chlorine has been much less lethal than that of sarin, at least in recent reported incidents in Syria. SAMS said two people had been killed in the seven attacks this year.

Mattis told reporters last month that the United States was seeking evidence[6] of renewed sarin use.

Fred Hof, an Obama administration official who is now at the Atlantic Council, said the United States would send a “deadly” message if it lashes out after chemical attacks but does nothing when civilians are killed with conventional arms.

“When we go out of our way to say, in effect, the only time we will lift a finger to protect Syrian civilians is when particularly deadly chemical weapons are employed, we are inadvertently — unintentionally but inevitably — encouraging the Assad regime, the Russians and the Iranians to attack civilians with everything at their disposal,” he said.

Even if Trump authorizes another attack, the Pentagon is likely to advocate limiting U.S. involvement in the war. The April attack, which included 59 cruise missiles, was aimed narrowly at an isolated airfield, minimizing the likelihood of tit-for-tat escalations.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is investigating whether chlorine was used in recent attacks in Eastern Ghouta, Reuters reported.

Greg Jaffe in Washington and Louisa Loveluck in Beirut contributed to this report.

References

  1. ^ fire Tomahawk missiles (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ gruesome attack (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ New chemical attacks reported in Syria, and Trump administration blames Russia (www.washingtonpost.com)
  4. ^ internationally backed deal (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ Trump administration: Syria probably continuing to make, use chemical weapons (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ seeking evidence (www.reuters.com)
0

After reports of chemical attacks, White House considers new military action against Syrian regime

The Trump administration has considered new military action against the Syrian government in response to reports of ongoing chemical weapons use, officials said, raising the prospect of a second U.S. strike on President Bashar al-Assad in less than a year.

President Trump requested options for punishing the Assad government after reported chlorine gas attacks — at least seven this year — and possibly other chemicals affecting civilians in opposition-controlled areas.

In a Feb. 25 incident, residents and medical staffers in a rebel-held Damascus suburb, Eastern Ghouta, described symptoms associated with chlorine exposure. One child died, medical staffers reported.

The president discussed potential actions early last week at a White House meeting that included Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, officials said.

One official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to address internal deliberations, said that the president did not endorse any military action and that officials decided to continue monitoring the situation.

Dana White, chief Pentagon spokeswoman, denied that Mattis took part in discussions about military action in Syria and said the “conversation did not happen.”

One senior administration official said that Mattis was “adamantly” against acting militarily in response to the recent chlorine attacks and that McMaster “was for it.”

The prospect of renewed military action, even if tabled for now, underscores the explosiveness of a conflict that has become a battlefield for rivalries between Russia and Iran on one side and the United States and its allies on the other.

The White House discussions come amid a drumbeat of accusations from Trump administration officials, who have sought to galvanize international pressure on Syria over repeated small-scale chemical attacks amid an escalation of widespread conventional air and ground assaults that have killed hundreds of civilians in recent weeks.

On Monday, the Assad government allowed a U.N. aid convoy to deliver food and other aid, but not certain medical supplies, to Eastern Ghouta, even as shelling and airstrikes continued.

The Trump administration has condemned Iran for deploying weapons and fighters that have helped turn the war in Assad’s favor. It has also blamed Russia for failing to enforce a U.N.-backed cease-fire proposal and for allowing the use of chemical weapons to continue.

“The civilized world must not tolerate the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical weapons,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Sunday.

Russian and Syrian officials have rejected reports of government chemical weapons use.

Images of Syrians suffering the effects of chemical exposure appear to have energized the president to explore launching a new assault, as they did before the missile attack he authorized on a Syrian air base in April.

Trump ordered the Pentagon to fire Tomahawk missiles[1] on the Syrian facility believed to be linked to a sarin gas attack that killed 80 people. It was the first direct American assault on the Assad government, a step that President Barack Obama had shied away from, even after an estimated 1,400 people were killed in a gruesome attack[2] in August 2013.

[New chemical attacks reported in Syria, and Trump administration blames Russia[3]]

Administration officials say Syria has continued to make and employ chemical weapons despite an internationally backed deal[4] to remove its stockpiles after the 2013 incident.

According to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which tracks reports from medical staffers, patients have reported symptoms linked to chlorine exposure seven times this year. In November, also in Eastern Ghouta, hospitals described seeing patients with symptoms indicative of sarin, the society said.

Unlike with earlier deadly incidents, U.S. officials say, the Assad regime is now conducting only small-scale attacks and is relying mainly on chlorine, which is made from commercially available materials and is more difficult to detect than nerve agents such as sarin.

“They clearly think they can get away with this if they keep it under a certain level,” a senior administration official told reporters last month.

Officials also suspect Syria of using ground-based systems rather than aerial means for delivering chemical agents, because they are harder to track.

The Syrian government has resorted to such attacks, officials say, to compensate for manpower shortages and to discourage supporters of the opposition from returning to strategic areas.

Even as the U.S. military winds down its campaign against the Islamic State, the Trump administration risks being more deeply drawn into Syria’s civil war, in which NATO ally Turkey is another important player. Many U.S. officials say that only greater political stability can prevent the extremists’ return.

The Pentagon has sought to keep its mission in Syria tightly focused on the Islamic State. There are about 2,000 U.S. troops in the east and north, tasked with advising local forces who have been battling the extremists.

[Trump administration: Syria probably continuing to make, use chemical weapons[5]]

Some officials also have raised concerns about conclusively assigning responsibility for chlorine attacks. Others express skepticism that another strike would deter Assad when the last one did not.

But other officials, particularly at the White House and the State Department, appear more open to renewed action against Assad. They say that a U.S. response might deter the Assad regime from rebuilding its chemical arsenal in a way that might eventually threaten the United States and might demonstrate that the United States will not be deterred by Russia’s presence in Syria.

The discussions highlight the gray area that chlorine has occupied in the West’s response to chemical weapons use in Syria. While chlorine is not a banned substance, its use as a choking agent is prohibited under international chemical weapons rules.

The Assad government’s reported employment of chlorine has been much less lethal than that of sarin, at least in recent reported incidents in Syria. SAMS said two people had been killed in the seven attacks this year.

Mattis told reporters last month that the United States was seeking evidence[6] of renewed sarin use.

Fred Hof, an Obama administration official who is now at the Atlantic Council, said the United States would send a “deadly” message if it lashes out after chemical attacks but does nothing when civilians are killed with conventional arms.

“When we go out of our way to say, in effect, the only time we will lift a finger to protect Syrian civilians is when particularly deadly chemical weapons are employed, we are inadvertently — unintentionally but inevitably — encouraging the Assad regime, the Russians and the Iranians to attack civilians with everything at their disposal,” he said.

Even if Trump authorizes another attack, the Pentagon is likely to advocate limiting U.S. involvement in the war. The April attack, which included 59 cruise missiles, was aimed narrowly at an isolated airfield, minimizing the likelihood of tit-for-tat escalations.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is investigating whether chlorine was used in recent attacks in Eastern Ghouta, Reuters reported.

Greg Jaffe in Washington and Louisa Loveluck in Beirut contributed to this report.

References

  1. ^ fire Tomahawk missiles (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ gruesome attack (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ New chemical attacks reported in Syria, and Trump administration blames Russia (www.washingtonpost.com)
  4. ^ internationally backed deal (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ Trump administration: Syria probably continuing to make, use chemical weapons (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ seeking evidence (www.reuters.com)
0

Rhea Homeland Security Team to hold fundraiser

The Rhea County Sheriff’s Department’s Homeland Security Team is hosting a hot dog/chili fundraiser on March 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rhea County Welcome Center in Dayton.

Homeland Security officials said the event will also feature a silent auction on cakes, pies, tools, knives and more and that a drawing will also be held for a La-Z-Boy recliner.

Officials said the drawing will take place at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the fundraiser and that you do not have to be present to win.

“Our local sheriff’s department’s Homeland Security team is a group that [Rhea County Sheriff Mike Neal] formed himself in 2002,” Homeland Security Director Jim Conner said. “We have used the money from our fundraisers to buy generators, portable lights, safety vests and training equipment.”

Conner said that funds raised at this year’s event will be coupled with half of the funds from last year’s fundraiser to outfit all law enforcement with small trauma kits and tourniquets.

Neal formed the county’s Homeland Security team following the 9/11 tragedy. Neal, foreseeing the need to have trained volunteers ready to step in to assist with emergencies that might deplete the sheriffs department’s resources, formed this group from volunteers interested in helping their community.

Over the past several years, these teams have assisted in the state’s small pox inoculation drill, Watts Bar response drill, evacuation drills at Spring City Elementary School and Rhea Central Elementary School, and have coordinated various Neighborhood Watch programs around the county.

In addition, the team has assisted in search and rescue, crime scene security, security for a variety of public events and has conducted dozens of public services including CPR and first aid classes around the county. The team has also assisted in with various natural disasters within the county including providing medical assistance.

The Homeland Security Team has annual training in handgun qualification, National Weather Service Weather Spotters, OC pepper spray, extendable baton and emergency vehicle operations.

For more information, contact Conner at 423-255-2200 or via email at [email protected][1].

References

  1. ^ [email protected] (www.rheaheraldnews.com)
0

1st Armored Brigade Combat Team hosts family spur ride

It is a day of family time for Fort Hood’s First Armored Brigade Combat Team on post. Spouses and children of all ages get a look at what it means for their soldier to go to work, whether their soldier is gone for a day or for a year.

“And I don’t like it whenever he’s gone,” said Isaiah Wright, son of Captain Chris Wright.

Tough words to hear but Friday’s Family Spur Ride offered families a close look at obstacle courses, military vehicles and equipment.

“My 7-and-a-half and 9-year-olds are in there driving humvees and engaging the enemy and learning how to do medical treatment throwing hand grenades and water balloons,” said Colonel Trey Rutherford, the First Brigade Commander.

The brigade of about 3,500 troops will be heading overseas to Europe this summer. About 45 percent of these families are new to deployment life.

“We always think of our families as our secret weapon for Ironhorse Brigade. So, this is time well spent,” said Rutherford.

The busy training environment was replaced with children, strollers and even puppies on Friday.

“I can do it, yes I can,” said one young girl, working on climbing over a large fence. She and her dad, Captain Chris Wright, even walked through a small tunnel as part of a large obstacle course.

“It’s never easy to be gone for that amount of time, so any memories we can build before we go, is especially important keeping our families together,” said Wright.

Colonel Rutherford said a Spur Ride gets families tied in with Family Readiness Groups, as communication with loved ones gets harder down range during the deployment.

The Brigade will be supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, aiming to assist in the mission to deter Russian aggression and support countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

© 2018 KCEN

0

1st Armored Brigade Combat Team hosts family spur ride

It is a day of family time for Fort Hood’s First Armored Brigade Combat Team on post. Spouses and children of all ages get a look at what it means for their soldier to go to work, whether their soldier is gone for a day or for a year.

“And I don’t like it whenever he’s gone,” said Isaiah Wright, son of Captain Chris Wright.

Tough words to hear but Friday’s Family Spur Ride offered families a close look at obstacle courses, military vehicles and equipment.

“My 7-and-a-half and 9-year-olds are in there driving humvees and engaging the enemy and learning how to do medical treatment throwing hand grenades and water balloons,” said Colonel Trey Rutherford, the First Brigade Commander.

The brigade of about 3,500 troops will be heading overseas to Europe this summer. About 45 percent of these families are new to deployment life.

“We always think of our families as our secret weapon for Ironhorse Brigade. So, this is time well spent,” said Rutherford.

The busy training environment was replaced with children, strollers and even puppies on Friday.

“I can do it, yes I can,” said one young girl, working on climbing over a large fence. She and her dad, Captain Chris Wright, even walked through a small tunnel as part of a large obstacle course.

“It’s never easy to be gone for that amount of time, so any memories we can build before we go, is especially important keeping our families together,” said Wright.

Colonel Rutherford said a Spur Ride gets families tied in with Family Readiness Groups, as communication with loved ones gets harder down range during the deployment.

The Brigade will be supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, aiming to assist in the mission to deter Russian aggression and support countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

© 2018 KCEN

0

1st Armored Brigade Combat Team hosts family spur ride

It is a day of family time for Fort Hood’s First Armored Brigade Combat Team on post. Spouses and children of all ages get a look at what it means for their soldier to go to work, whether their soldier is gone for a day or for a year.

“And I don’t like it whenever he’s gone,” said Isaiah Wright, son of Captain Chris Wright.

Tough words to hear but Friday’s Family Spur Ride offered families a close look at obstacle courses, military vehicles and equipment.

“My 7-and-a-half and 9-year-olds are in there driving humvees and engaging the enemy and learning how to do medical treatment throwing hand grenades and water balloons,” said Colonel Trey Rutherford, the First Brigade Commander.

The brigade of about 3,500 troops will be heading overseas to Europe this summer. About 45 percent of these families are new to deployment life.

“We always think of our families as our secret weapon for Ironhorse Brigade. So, this is time well spent,” said Rutherford.

The busy training environment was replaced with children, strollers and even puppies on Friday.

“I can do it, yes I can,” said one young girl, working on climbing over a large fence. She and her dad, Captain Chris Wright, even walked through a small tunnel as part of a large obstacle course.

“It’s never easy to be gone for that amount of time, so any memories we can build before we go, is especially important keeping our families together,” said Wright.

Colonel Rutherford said a Spur Ride gets families tied in with Family Readiness Groups, as communication with loved ones gets harder down range during the deployment.

The Brigade will be supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, aiming to assist in the mission to deter Russian aggression and support countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

© 2018 KCEN

0

1st Armored Brigade Combat Team hosts family spur ride

It is a day of family time for Fort Hood’s First Armored Brigade Combat Team on post. Spouses and children of all ages get a look at what it means for their soldier to go to work, whether their soldier is gone for a day or for a year.

“And I don’t like it whenever he’s gone,” said Isaiah Wright, son of Captain Chris Wright.

Tough words to hear but Friday’s Family Spur Ride offered families a close look at obstacle courses, military vehicles and equipment.

“My 7-and-a-half and 9-year-olds are in there driving humvees and engaging the enemy and learning how to do medical treatment throwing hand grenades and water balloons,” said Colonel Trey Rutherford, the First Brigade Commander.

The brigade of about 3,500 troops will be heading overseas to Europe this summer. About 45 percent of these families are new to deployment life.

“We always think of our families as our secret weapon for Ironhorse Brigade. So, this is time well spent,” said Rutherford.

The busy training environment was replaced with children, strollers and even puppies on Friday.

“I can do it, yes I can,” said one young girl, working on climbing over a large fence. She and her dad, Captain Chris Wright, even walked through a small tunnel as part of a large obstacle course.

“It’s never easy to be gone for that amount of time, so any memories we can build before we go, is especially important keeping our families together,” said Wright.

Colonel Rutherford said a Spur Ride gets families tied in with Family Readiness Groups, as communication with loved ones gets harder down range during the deployment.

The Brigade will be supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, aiming to assist in the mission to deter Russian aggression and support countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

© 2018 KCEN

0

1st Armored Brigade Combat Team hosts family spur ride

It is a day of family time for Fort Hood’s First Armored Brigade Combat Team on post. Spouses and children of all ages get a look at what it means for their soldier to go to work, whether their soldier is gone for a day or for a year.

“And I don’t like it whenever he’s gone,” said Isaiah Wright, son of Captain Chris Wright.

Tough words to hear but Friday’s Family Spur Ride offered families a close look at obstacle courses, military vehicles and equipment.

“My 7-and-a-half and 9-year-olds are in there driving humvees and engaging the enemy and learning how to do medical treatment throwing hand grenades and water balloons,” said Colonel Trey Rutherford, the First Brigade Commander.

The brigade of about 3,500 troops will be heading overseas to Europe this summer. About 45 percent of these families are new to deployment life.

“We always think of our families as our secret weapon for Ironhorse Brigade. So, this is time well spent,” said Rutherford.

The busy training environment was replaced with children, strollers and even puppies on Friday.

“I can do it, yes I can,” said one young girl, working on climbing over a large fence. She and her dad, Captain Chris Wright, even walked through a small tunnel as part of a large obstacle course.

“It’s never easy to be gone for that amount of time, so any memories we can build before we go, is especially important keeping our families together,” said Wright.

Colonel Rutherford said a Spur Ride gets families tied in with Family Readiness Groups, as communication with loved ones gets harder down range during the deployment.

The Brigade will be supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, aiming to assist in the mission to deter Russian aggression and support countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

© 2018 KCEN

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1st Armored Brigade Combat Team hosts family spur ride

It is a day of family time for Fort Hood’s First Armored Brigade Combat Team on post. Spouses and children of all ages get a look at what it means for their soldier to go to work, whether their soldier is gone for a day or for a year.

“And I don’t like it whenever he’s gone,” said Isaiah Wright, son of Captain Chris Wright.

Tough words to hear but Friday’s Family Spur Ride offered families a close look at obstacle courses, military vehicles and equipment.

“My 7-and-a-half and 9-year-olds are in there driving humvees and engaging the enemy and learning how to do medical treatment throwing hand grenades and water balloons,” said Colonel Trey Rutherford, the First Brigade Commander.

The brigade of about 3,500 troops will be heading overseas to Europe this summer. About 45 percent of these families are new to deployment life.

“We always think of our families as our secret weapon for Ironhorse Brigade. So, this is time well spent,” said Rutherford.

The busy training environment was replaced with children, strollers and even puppies on Friday.

“I can do it, yes I can,” said one young girl, working on climbing over a large fence. She and her dad, Captain Chris Wright, even walked through a small tunnel as part of a large obstacle course.

“It’s never easy to be gone for that amount of time, so any memories we can build before we go, is especially important keeping our families together,” said Wright.

Colonel Rutherford said a Spur Ride gets families tied in with Family Readiness Groups, as communication with loved ones gets harder down range during the deployment.

The Brigade will be supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, aiming to assist in the mission to deter Russian aggression and support countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

© 2018 KCEN