Army families bond during special Organizational Day

Cars leave the Fort Benning main gate onto Fort Benning Drive Tuesday.  10.01.13
Cars leave the Fort Benning main gate onto Fort Benning Drive Tuesday. 10.01.13 rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

Northside High School student Jasmine Murphy had just rappelled down the 55-foot high Eagle Tower at Fort Benning.

"That was intense," Jasmine said, smiling.

The 16-year-old girl was among a group participating Thursday morning in the 2nd Battalion 69th Armor Regiment Bayonet Company Organizational Day, in which soldiers showed off some of what they do in training and family members got to experience it as well.

Her father is 1st Sgt. Thomas Murphy.

"It's great to be see what happens out here. It's not easy," Jasmine said.

She said she is looking forward to a cookout on the Fourth of July.

"The Fourth of July is special because it is about freedom and it's people like my father who help us keep our freedom."

1st Lt. Charlie Hahne said the event, was about bonding with family members conquering fear together and give family members insight into what goes on during training.

"He said it good that a soldier's family members meets members of other families because that is the support group when the soldier is away.

The event was a project of the company's family readiness group of which Catherine Cheval is the leader. Her husband is Capt. Paul Cheval.

"You always imagine what a soldier is doing during training and this way we get a good idea. Of course, they do it all day, not or cold, rain or shine."

She said she and her husband will probably go to Callaway Gardens for the Fourth of July. "It make you think about those who have sacrificed for this country."

Kelley Swan is the girlfriend of Spc. Jacob Barvels.

She called rappelling down the tower was "fun and terrifying"

"I am afraid of heights," she said.

Still, she was glad to see some of what Barvels does at work.

"I think it was good for Kelly to meet these family members," Barvels said.

He said the Fourth of July is special to him. "It is a day that really makes you proud that you serve."