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1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment hosts family shoot day

Families take a walk in Soldiers’ boots

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The families of Soldiers from 1st Battalion, (Air Assault) 377th Field Artillery Regiment, got a taste of the field artillery world during a family shoot day July 7 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The day of show-and-tell gave family members a chance to see the firing of live artillery rounds and a few were selected to pull the lanyard on a Howitzer, firing a live round.

"The Soldiers really enjoyed today's events," said Capt. Brant Green, A Battery commander, and a native of Gilbert, S.C. "They were fired up about their families seeing what they do."

In order to give them the full experience and keep them safe, the 15 raffle winners were required to put on the same vests, helmets and eyewear, Soldiers wear when firing weapons. They received a brief lesson on the howitzer and the commands to follow before firing.

"It feels good showing the families how the king of battle gets down," said Pfc. Adamee Adams, cannon crewmember, A Battery, 1-377 FAR.

The Fort Pierce, Fla., native said he enjoyed seeing their smiles light up when they pulled the string.

"I've been an Army spouse for 14 years and this is the first time I've been up close to a gun like that," said Mandy Freds, wife of Maj. Will Freds, executive officer, 1-377 FAR. "It was exhilarating. There is so much power in that string."

Mandy said she now looks forward to telling her friends about what it was like to fire a cannon, and appreciates the battalion for putting the event together. She said having a chance to actually see and experience what Soldiers do opens up a whole new world to the family members.

In order to further expose the families to the life of a Soldier, members from the battalion explained that there is more to the world of field artillery than big booms.

Everyone from the cannon crewmember to the administrative specialist plays a role in the battalion's mission, said Lt. Col. Charles Roede; making team work an important part of their success.

"We hope you get a greater appreciation of what your Soldiers do day-to-day," said Roede. "There are a whole slew of people that make things happen."

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