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198th Infantry Brigade to thank drill sergeant spouses

Leaders in the 198th Infantry Brigade want to thank the spouses who support their drill sergeants, so they’re rolling out the red carpet for the unit’s first Drill Sergeant Spouse Appreciation Dinner Friday.

“We recognize that the drill sergeants work long hours under much stress, but we often fail to recognize the hard work and efforts of their spouses at home. Our purpose for this event is to do exactly that — to recognize what the spouses do for their husbands, families and the local community,” said Col. Bruce Parker, brigade commander.

“We appreciate and admire all they do each and every day,” he said. “We could not ask for a more supportive team, and we are proud to have them as part of our brigade family. They make a difference every day and it is our privilege to serve alongside such a great team.”

Rebecca Fries, whose husband just finished a two-and-half-year term as a senior drill sergeant with D Company, 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment, said the thank you is appreciated.“The time and effort I know is being put forth just to tell us thank you — it shows a genuine caring,” she said. “That means so much to us.”

Fries said her husband, who’s slated to deploy in a few days, volunteered for drill sergeant duty as way to do his part in ensuring the quality of Soldiers coming through basic training.

“It’s not just the long hours; it’s a very stressful job,” she said. “These guys are in drill sergeant mode 24/7. (For spouses), it takes a lot of patience and understanding with the schedule.”

Fries said she’s enjoyed other efforts from the command team to recognize drill sergeant spouses, such as the drill sergeant spouse seminars that welcome new spouses to the brigade.

“It makes us all feel good,” she said. “When you see a successful Soldier who has a family, chances are there’s a very strong spouse behind him. These events give us a chance to meet other drill sergeant spouses, to form a connection.”

The dinner begins at 5 p.m. at the National Infantry Museum and is open to all brigade cadre.