February 16, 2009


I dropped my husband off for SERE school this morning. I was cold just sitting in the car for 30 minutes; I shudder to think how cold it will be for them outside during the escape and evade parts.

Yesterday, a friend asked me what in the heck SERE even is. There was a CNN Presents about it some years back. From the article:

What goes on at the school is three weeks of "stress inoculation" via a course the Army calls Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, or SERE. The school provides a realistic setting for soldiers to learn how to live off the land if they are cut off from friendly forces. Students also learn how to evade the enemy and escape if hunted down and finally how to resist if captured, imprisoned and tortured.
Much of the school's training is classified. But Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant credits the training for helping him survive 10 days in captivity in 1993 when the Black Hawk helicopter he was piloting was shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia.
To prepare commandos who are at high risk of capture, the course includes sleep deprivation and food deprivation -- severe enough that, over the course of survival school, a student typically drops 15 pounds.

The article has photos of guys eating worms and being taken prisoner. The last photo breaks my heart.

I can hardly bear the thought of someone hurting my husband, even in training. This is going to be a long three weeks for my heart...and his poor body.

He got out of the car and loaded himself up with at least 50 lbs of gear. And as I looked at him, "three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: 'You're so cool. You're so cool. You're so cool.'"

It was harder for me to let him go this morning than it was last year when he deployed.

Posted by Sarah at February 16, 2009 07:18 AM | TrackBack

Don't forget Scott O'Grady in 1995. He was shot
down over Bosnia and had to eat bugs for 6 days
before getting rescued. But they didn't capture
him and he had his training to thank.

I will keep a good thought for you and your DH as he goes through this..

Posted by: MaryIndiana at February 16, 2009 08:26 AM

sarah - thinking of you and your husband. When I was in college, I dated someone going thru ranger school and wow that was really hard on him (and me)

Posted by: Keri at February 16, 2009 10:29 AM

I know I shouldn't say I'm excited for you guys. But I am. Mostly for him. He'll hate it and be glad he did it.

But I'm weird that way. (and a former jarhead)

Posted by: Meadowlark at February 16, 2009 01:34 PM

Wow...that is crazy stuff...I will be thinking of you and your husband over the next three weeks. I can imagine it was pretty tough to say goodbye to him. I appreciate both you and your husband and what you both go through to help keep the rest of us safe.

Posted by: Stacy at February 16, 2009 01:54 PM

Eek. As valuable as that training is, my heart hurts for you to have to allow him to go through it. Makes me feel like a wimp for feeling the same way just sending Hubby off to BMT... *hugs*

Posted by: kannie at February 16, 2009 03:33 PM

We watched this show a while back http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2008/09/military_survival_090108/ it was pretty cool - not sure if it's on DVD.

Good luck with the next few weeks!!

Posted by: Beth at February 16, 2009 06:19 PM

Hey, keep in mind, they gotta CATCH him first.

Posted by: deskmerc at February 17, 2009 04:30 AM

My husband did SERE back when he was a Marine. He said that despite being hungry and cold, he really enjoyed the training and learned quite a bit from it. The experience made him a fantastic navigator, and gave him a ton of skills that have come in handy even in just his everyday training.

So even though it's hard now, I think a lot of the guys come out of it grateful for the experience. Hang in there. :)

Posted by: Leofwende at February 17, 2009 12:09 PM

I'm not sure if the Army school is the same one that the Marines go too, I'm sure they are the same but different sort of thing. But if its any comfort my husband went thru the school and LOVED it. I mean he was black and blue when I saw him after and said they did do some not so nice things and ate some not so yummy stuff (I'm comforting you arent I?) but he wishes he could do it again. Really, he loved it. Hmmm maybe this doesnt paint my husband in the best light?

Good luck getting thru the next couple weeks, its always harder on the ones at home. : )

Posted by: the mrs. at February 17, 2009 02:00 PM

It sounds brutal but something my husband would probably love to do, too. :) Heck, I would think it was fun, too, if I were in better shape. :)

Praying for you, Sarah. I would be a ball of stress, too. *Hugs!*

Posted by: Deltasierra at February 17, 2009 02:34 PM

Oh the stories I could tell you about SERE. He does get to eat a bunny :) don't worry ... they can't do any physcial permanent damage. He's a trooper! You'll do great! *hugs*

Posted by: Darla at February 17, 2009 07:27 PM