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Jaclyn’s Fort Campbell Experience

Friday night, the band and I made the 85 mile drive to Fort Campbell Army Base. I was very excited and a little nervous beforehand, but couldn’t really imagine how awesome of an experience our trip would be.

Friday night was our show. We played at VICE night, a fundraiser for the Spouses Club, a non-profit within the base. We had a great show and everyone had so much fun! We even played for the Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division, MG James C. McConville. He was very nice and complimentary and it really was an honor to meet him. (Saying that, I was SO nervous to even meet him!! I was kinda nervous the whole time, ha!)

I had never been on a military base and when we checked in the first gate, I swear I almost hyperventilated! Ha! The only law I’ve ever broken is speeding, but waiting for the guard to check my ID was one of the most intimidating moments ever!

I was most looking forward to our tour Saturday morning. It was amazing! We were allowed to look at and even get inside of a Blackhawk and an Apache aircraft. Wow is about the only word that can describe being inside of of those bad boys. I swear, I wanted someone to mess with me, ha!

I will say this, the Apache is not designed for comfort… just for gettin it done! I told the Colonel showing us around that the seats aren’t very comfy. Smiling, he laughed and told me, “Well hon, this is more of a business trip than pleasure.” Very valid point sir! It was a little nerve racking being inches away from levers and switches with words like “laser” and “engage” on them.  The aircrafts were, oddly enough, beautiful machines and I’m so grateful for that experience.

On our way out of the hanger, we were introduced to a WWII veteran. He was proudly wearing his Marines jacket and his Devil Dogs hat, leaning on a very impressive cane. He introduced himself and told us how he widles these canes by hand for wounded soldiers returning home. Over the last few years, he’s made over 60 canes. Talking with him, I found myself holding back tears. Here he is, already given so much for his country, for our country, and he continues to do so. These canes take months for him to create and he is so proud of each and every one.

Walking away from him and out of the hanger I was reminded with something that we too often take for granted, the sacrifices that SO many people make for us every day. I found myself to be a little embarrassed for allowing myself to get so worked up about such minimal issues in my life. It’s not just the soldiers who are sacrificing for us, it’s their wives, husbands and children waiting back home for their family members too. Talking with some of the woman who organized this event was very eye-opening. All of their lives are so different from all of ours. I really left there with a much bigger appreciate for what we have and the fact that we can live our daily lives without worry or fear for our safety. I started to feel bad for taking for granted the simple things we have. For not giving enough credit to those who enable us to be THE greatest country in the world, then it hit me…

They are fighting for our daily freedoms. So that we can nap all day on a beautiful Sunday or take our family away for the weekend and that it’s just human nature to forget where those freedoms come from. It’s not that we don’t appreciate what has been done over generations for us, it’s just that they’ve done such a great job at it, we sometimes forget to say “Thank You”.

I will always have a greater appreciation for what our troops; past, present and future have done and will do for our country. And, I can’t wait to get back to Fort Campbell and show my appreciation for their service.

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