In case you didn’t know, Ranger School is no joke. Of course I didn’t attend the school (nor will I EVER), but stories and videos can show you the training that they do there.
There are 3 phases and Darby is the first.
Darby is at Fort Benning and consists of a lot of getting smoked and doing what you’re told. I’m going to tell you what I did, as a loved one, for my soldier.
Throughout this phase:
- I wrote 1 letter a day
- Every letter had a paragraph about something that occurred within the day, so he could have a sense of what’s going on in my life. The ending was a devotional and how I thought it related to something that happened in our life. I maintained a positive attitude throughout all of my letters. I also made sure he knew how proud I was of him and how much I loved him. (There are calendar’s so you know what your soldier is doing everyday so I also included that in the letter)
- Just so you know he didn’t get the letters until the day of his Darby pass, he got a huge pile of letters but I know it made his day.
- I wrote in a journal
- While my letters were extremely positive I bought a little journal from Michael’s that I wrote about the real stuff that was happening to me. How I was stressed about wedding planning without him, how I didn’t know what I was doing without him and just how I sad I was without him. I made sure this sadness wasn’t reflected in the letters so he can feed off of the energy that I was giving.
- I PRAYED
- I prayed a lot! I prayed that God would stay with him, give him strength and guide him.
Darby pass was 8 hours where your soldier is able to get a refit (new equipment, a haircut, maybe a nap and lots of food)
This pass was AMAZING! I was so nervous to see him, I knew once he came out that in a blind of an eye he would be going back.
I woke up early, 0500, to get ready. I had powerade, coconut water, coffee (as requested by him in a letter), a breakfast sandwich and a cinnamon roll in the car waiting for him.
As the soldiers came out of Camp Darby, the amazing volunteers had donuts, pizza, candy and fruit waiting for them, so he had tons of food. We went back to the house so he could change and went straight to get new equipment. He got what he needed and we got coffee, lunch and ice cream (his idea). Then we spent time at the house, he took a bath with Epsom salt, we talked about everything and I shaved his head. Once we were done hanging out we got dinner and I had to take him back to Ranger School. The last hour was so depressing and I tried to stay positive for him.
Darby pass was such a gift for me and I know Jacob feels the same way.
I’ll be honest, this phase was extremely hard for me. Not being able to talk to Jacob was tough for me to live with, the longest I’ve been without talking to him prior to Ranger School was probably 4 days, maybe, while he was at IBOLC. But 3 weeks??? The first week was okay, nothing special. But then the second week came, and it hit me hard. I came home crying for 4 days straight. Then I got a letter, I sat in my car crying so much. He was positive which gave me so much hope but still I missed him.
Darby phase is over and thank God for that!
If you have any questions or advice feel free to comment!