I had Rob read this before I posted it to make sure I didn't give away any sensitive information. More on that later. He also added a few edits, they're in green.
Not sure if you remember, but way back at OCS Rob got to pick which branch of the Army he wanted to work in. Originally he wanted either MI (Military Intelligence) or Signal Core (they do the computer stuff), but once he got to OCS and read up on all the choices, he decided he wanted to do Field Artillery instead. Me, being the loving supportive wife I am, told him whatever. NOT because I didn't care, but because I told him my number one priority was him having a job he loved (up to that point I'd had to deal with a husband who did not love his job. It stank). So if he was going to love Field Artillery, I was good with that.
However, after he chose it (and was excited about it) the number one question I would get from people was "WHY?" And I understand, compared to MI or Signal, Field Artillery is a little more dangerous. Takes you out of an office and into the fighting. BUT, I would just look at them and say "Are you kidding me? What little boy doesn't dream of blowing stuff up for a living?" And that, my friends, is what my husband does for a living. Observe:
Now is that cool or what? (that is the smallest cannon we shoot, the 105mm M119A2 approximately 56lbs projectile with a charge 3 of 7 Max range is about 14k)
Granted, it is impossible to tell just how big that boom is from the video... the little camera shake right after it goes off? Yeah, that was an involuntary jump from the gun going off. Plus it was pretty loud... loud enough that we all had to wear ear plugs and it still made us jump.
I'm sure you're wondering how in the world I got a video of that, so let me back up. Ever since Rob chose field artillery I kept pestering him if we'd get the chance to see the guns firing and he never had a clue. So when I got an email last summer (while we were in Oklahoma) saying they were going to have a family day in the field I immediately signed us up. And was SO EXCITED to finally see what my husband does up close!
When the day finally arrived, we got to ride one of the lovely buses (our soldiers get to ride all the time) out to the range (also known as, 'The Field.' Whenever they go out to 'The Field' they're out at some practice range for training). We then pile out, insert our ear plugs, and take a little tour!
Here is Max (making a face, this kid is so over me taking pictures of him) with his ear plugs... unfortunately they were one size fits all so it took a little bit of wiggling to get them in.
And I'm sure you are wondering, so YES, Nick wore them too.
Because his ears are so tiny, they wouldn't stay in by themselves so I had to hold them in. Thankfully he pretty much slept the entire time (even through the booms) so i just had one ear squished against my body so I only had to hold the one side in (so I could take pictures, that is very important you know).
Max wasn't that interested in what was going on, at least until the gun went off. Then he was VERY interested.
The source of all the noise...
Max checking out where the round hit. (using his binoculars, he never leaves home without them!)
(it's the smokey area)
And just so you know how far these suckers shoot, here is a non-zoomed-in picture. (about 2-3k)
We even got to look through the "scope" (not sure if that's the right term) (gunners site) to see the target!
We also got to go into the little "command center" (I'm such a terrible Army wife, I should know these terms but I just don't. Sorry Rob, I'm letting you down) (Fire Direction Center or FDC) to see them calling for fire and stuff. Those pictures were really boring (just picture some guys in uniforms bent over maps or on the radio) (Ok, that made it sound cool, but it really was just a bunch of guys standing around who just happened to have on uniforms too) so I didn't feel the need to keep them, so you'll just have to live with this picture of Nick I took in there. It wasn't as loud, so I didn't feel the need to hold the ear plugs in, so you can see just how big they were compared to his ear.
Then once the tours were over, we got lunch! MRE's!!
Rob thinks I'm crazy, but I actually really like the Sloppy Joe and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce ones. As in, I will eat one for lunch sometimes.
Oh, and a word of advice from real-live soldiers: STAY AWAY from the Omelet!
Unfortunately, Max wouldn't taste any part of it except the brownie. More for me! (Granted, I just eat the main course, usually with crackers from my own pantry. The bread provided in them has a funky aftertaste to me so I save those for Rob to take to the field with him. [lucky man, huh?] (thanks. Just don't forget the jalapeno cheese) I'm sure if they were all I had to eat for days straight I wouldn't be too fond)
And this post wouldn't be complete without a shout-out to my bff from Oklahoma, Tiffany. She is like Max's second mother. She's the one in the orange shirt who held and carried Max the whole time since I had a baby strapped to me. WE MISS YOU T'EE!!! Her mom was visiting this week too, so she came with. Unfortunately she doesn't have any grandchildren of her own yet (ahem, Tiffany), so she LOVED getting to snuggle my boys.
Nick is especially snuggly compared to Max (Max NEVER snuggled, and if he did it was a MIRACLE) so anyone who holds him can't help but melt.
And that is what Field Artillery is all about!