Friday Filter: Band of Brothers

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image via

Right before Tom deployed, I found this TV series on sale and scooped it up. I knew that I was going to love it so I figured I would buy it before I even saw it.

Then Tom deployed, and I decided that it was in my best interest to wait until he returned home to watch it.

I knew if I watched a series about the brutal truths of war plus the added fact that the unit is 101st Airborne, (Tom’s division), it was just a recipe for disaster for my emotional state.

We finally got around to completing the series this week. It is short with only 10 episodes, but each one was jam-packed with goodness.

WWII was my favorite period to study. I took every elective in this time period during college. I was enthralled by the facts and details that they threw into this mini-series.

It was a pretty great cast, and the acting was pretty stellar which made you feel like you were watching a documentary almost more than a show. They did a great job with the scenery and the details of the costumes. They really picked up on the subtleties of the time.

I appreciated the realness of the series. They showed how leadership can affect the troops, how things are communicated, the morale, the conditions, and even the deaths and wounded. This was not an easy war for our men, and many were there for years.

If you imagine the things that are seen in that amount of time….mind boggling.

My favorite part was that they had the real soldiers the story was based on do interviews and tell snippets of their tale. So you saw men in their 60-80s talk about the harsh realities of war before each episode began. I mentioned this the other day to Tom too while we were in the pharmacy and seeing all the older gentlemen there picking up their meds. Some of these men have done unimaginable things, and yet they lead perfectly normal lives now and are sweet old men. (At least the look like sweet old men.) During these segments you saw these soldiers years later get choked up and laugh about memories. You saw real emotion in their eyes and their lip quivers.

I also really liked how they showed the relationships and how the war affected them over time. You watched them go from training days to when they heard the war was officially over. So you see growth and all kinds of transitions occur over that time.

I love when a story impacts you and shows you that rawness of humans. And this series did just that.

I will say it is not the easiest show to watch, but it is a great show to watch. I loved it for what it was. The history told in these 10 episodes was awesome, and better than any textbook. Although, I will say it was better for me maybe because of the context that I have from all those textbooks. However, I am sure you would enjoy it just the same.

Also it won a lot of awards, so other people think it is good too. Just saying.

We love watching war documentaries/shows in our house. Obviously.

Do you have any to recommend to us? Have you seen Band of Brothers? What did you think?Have you ever bought a movie/series without watching it?

Friday Filters offer a review that are my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.

Armucation: Airborne vs. Air Assault

Since I got a pretty good response on the last couple posts about my little Army knowledge, I figured I would semi-regularly write about details and tidbits about the Army. It is really educational for me too, so I hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about the Army.

There are a lot of qualifiers, training, and titles that go along with the Army. It can get confusing real quick!

Two of them are Airborne and Air Assault. These are known as qualifiers.

Fort Campbell is home of the 101st Airborne, which is one of the most famous units, most recognizably for Band of Brothers.

So most people have heard of Airborne before. If you were like me though, you may have never heard of Air Assault. One would think that it has to do with fighting in the air from plane to plane-assault in the air duh!

So here is your Armucation for the day.

Air Assault and Airborne are fairly similar. They both refer to the mode of transportation that a unit specializes in getting to their mission. And both have to do with vehicles that fly.

Airborne is when a unit jumps out of an airplane with parachutes. There is a school that you must go to at Ft. Benning, GA, to become qualified. It generally lasts for about 3 weeks. I am sure it involves some jumping in the air and what not.

Air Assault is when a unit deploys out of a helicopter. This also includes sling loads, which is basically a rope that is hooked underneath the helicopter. When Tom was deployed, this is how a lot of food, mail, supplies were delivered. The school is here at Ft. Campbell and lasts for 11 days.

both pictures via

Fast Facts:

  • These are an individual qualifier not an automatic right since you in stationed within the unit.
  • A soldier can be qualified for both, and it is not just restricted to the infantry.
  • From WWII there has always been an airborne unit.
  • The 101st Screaming Eagles is the only air assault unit in the world, but this doesn’t mean that other units aren’t air assault qualified.
  • There are a few Airborne units.
  • Everyone in the Army (or even infantry) is not qualified for either. From what I can tell, a lot of it may be due to your MOS and duty assignment and what options may be available there.
  • You can have gone on deployments before being “trained” for these. Tom went through the Air Assault school a month after he returned form his deployment.

There are two other “types” of transportation besides these Air Assault and Airborne.

  • “Light” is foot infantry meaning they come in by foot. They may use other vehicles, but they are made to do foot traffic.
  • “Mec” is mechanized infantry. This is when they roll in vehicles like strykers (kind of like a tank).

The mode of transportation will be picked depending on the mission and terrain they are going into. It is all situational, and the same area may call for all four depending on what is occurring at the time.

This is part of the Air Assault training. They have to rappel off the side you see but also off the other side where there is no wall. This thing is huge and kind of daunting, but I kind of want to do the jump…
Picture from http://www.campbell.army.mil/units/Sabalauski/Pages/AirAssaultSchool.aspx

It seems like I learn things about the Army every day. If there are things that you have questions about or you would love to see a post about, just let me know! I am by no means an expert at all things Army, but I love exploring new topics and sharing what I see as a military spouse.

I am starting a list of topics, so any ideas are welcome!

Hope you enjoyed today’s Armucation.