Forty Ranger school students and four Ranger school instructors were injured by a lightning strike during a lightning protection protocol training on Wednesday. Nine students and two instructors remained hospitalized overnight to ensure they were okay. Fortunately, no one suffered serious injuries. All 44 soldiers returned to duty on Thursday.
The lightning struck at approximately 4:55 p.m. Central time on Wednesday at Eglin Air Force Base in northern Florida. The students were two-thirds away from completing the last phase of Ranger School, the Florida Phase (also called the Swamp Phase).
The United State Army Ranger School is an extremely rough combat leadership course that lasts for 61 days. There are three phases that must be completed: Fort Benning Phase, Mountain Phase, and Florida Phase (to read more about these phases and what they include, click here). Ranger School is the Army’s most challenging course. The school is assured to test a student’s abilities to focus mentally and physically under extreme conditions. The daily fight to stay awake and go without food for long periods of time is just the beginning of the strenuous situations the students go through. Losing tremendous amounts of weight and ruck marching for almost 15-20 miles a day takes a large toll on the body. Each student, successful or not, returns to their unit as a more experienced Soldier and has become an established leader.
I had my very own experience with Ranger School as my husband, my boyfriend at the time, enrolled in this course. He left October 9, 2011 and passed each phase on the first try. He completed the school and graduated on December 9, 2011. This is also a difficult time on relationships as the only way to communicate with the Ranger is through writing letters, with the exception of quick phone calls at the end of each phase. So not only do the soldiers go through the agony of the phases above, but they also are disconnected from family and friends. As I stated above, each student who attends this course will always come back a stronger person and a great leader.
After months of moving, getting married, going on a honeymoon, and moving again, I’m finally back! We just got to our new hometown of Columbus, Georgia late last night. There is a lot more information on our lives to come, but just wanted to share the stormy weather we are experiencing today/tonight. Click here to see my video on Twitter (can’t get the video to upload on here). This tweet landed me a retweet from Jim Cantore! Lots of thunder, lightning, and downpours have been occurring all throughout the day today. What an eventful start to a new chapter in our lives!
There were strong thunderstorms in the Midwest last weekend. A couple of friends and I were in Galena, Illinois for our friend’s wedding. That Saturday, the day of the wedding, was a beautiful day for an outside wedding ceremony. Becca and John (the bride and groom) definitely had someone looking out for them on that glorious day!
The weather quickly turned quite the opposite right after the reception, luckily. Galena was hit with a very windy and loud thunderstorm. The rain was pounding the building and it was impossible to sleep, but it only lasted about an hour.
The weather was gloomy on Sunday. Two of my friends, Gillian and Sandy, drove from Galena to Chicago to catch our flights home. While the day in Illinois was drizzly and dark, nothing became severe until we all got to the airport.
Sandy had a layover in Kansas City. Her flight kept getting delayed because of the weather. She finally left Kansas City about three hours after her flight was scheduled. Despite delaying the trip home due to weather, it appeared that the stormy systems weren’t ready to die off.
The thunderstorms continued as Sandy’s flight left Kansas City and was making its way to Boston. Sandy said the lightning was crazy and she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She took the video I posted below of the storm, but she said it really doesn’t show how intense it really was. She was kind of nervous flying with the storm so close, but she said it made for great entertainment on her flight home!