Keaton Schaefer sits behind the wheel of a M1078 LMTV at the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment’s Family Day, March 24 at Fort Riley. (Photo by 1st Lt. Lauren Orr, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment hosts Family Day

By 1st Lt. Lauren Orr
105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

More than 1,000 family and friends took part in this year’s 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment Family Day at Fort Riley.

Sgt. Mark Gerbrand Company B, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, shows his wife, Rebecca, how to load a round into a M1A2 SEPv2 Abrams Main Battle Tank at the unit’s family fun day at Fort Riley March 24. (Photo by 1st Lt. Lauren Orr, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).

The March 24 event was designed to allow family members the opportunity to see their Soldier working and experience what their specific job entails in an effort to encourage understanding and participation in the overall unit mission.

“See what the CAB is doing to ensure your Soldier is ready for deployment,” said   Lt. Col. Harlin Williams, battalion commander.

The unit provided multiple opportunities for family members to engage in the event. Kids enjoyed sitting in the driver’s seat of the trucks and tanks on static display. Tank cannon rounds were available to pick up and observe the loading procedure.

“It looks really heavy,” said Rebecca Gerbrand, wife of Sgt. Mark Gerbrand, Company B.

Staff Sgt. Nate Carnahan, Detachment 1, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion 137th Infantry Regiment, shows his son, Gavin, how to operate a sniper rifle at the unit’s family day at Fort Riley March 24. (Photo by 1st Lt. Lauren Orr, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

The sniper rifle display was also a very popular attraction. People were allowed to hold and take aim of multiple sniper rifles available under the watchful eye of Staff Sgt. Nate Carnahan, Detachment 1, Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

Although it was a rather cold afternoon, the children seemed to think it was perfect weather for jumping, sliding and racing through the inflatable obstacle course, while parents and grandparents stood by and cheered them on.

The biggest event of the day was a live-fire tank exercise. With their fingers in their ears, the children anxiously awaited each resounding boom of the cannon. The Soldiers watching alongside their families were happy and eager to explain the structure of the firing exercise and to prepare everyone for each upcoming round.

Dinner was graciously provided to the families by Freddy’s Frozen Custard after the live-fire demonstration.

Family members departed at the end of the day, hopefully with a deeper understanding of the mission of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry and the role their Soldier plays in its success.