Three supermoms dared to become a soldier for a day, changing their daily role as housewives for the militia.
The most beautiful thing that I saw in Erika was when, one day, I went to the infirmary where she worked. I found her with eight amputee soldiers and they saw her as their mother. That marked me and I said: my daughter has to be in the Army.
These were the words of Mrs. Rosa Castillo after accepting the challenge of being a soldier for one day along with two other mothers, changing their daily role as housewives for the militia. Rosa is the mother of the first sergeant Érika Meneses-Castillo, first female parachute instructor of the National Army.
This mother, proud of her daughter, made the decision to accept the instructions that she received from the National Training Center at the Military Fort of Tolemaida from early in the morning to start her day as a military supermother, at about 33 degrees of temperature, along with her friends Evelia Duarte and María Cano, mothers-in-law of two non-commissioned officers and daily hiking companions.
Welcome to the Cradle of Mysticism, Temple of the Militia, University of Combat, where the military discipline of our Colombian lancers is built and structured. This was how these womer were welcomed by Lieutenant Daniel Gil, instructor of the School of Lancers, who instructed them in close order and in military courtesy. With excitement and with the best attitude, they continued this new experience jogging with the soldiers of a company of spearmen, who taught the supermoms some chants that they sing in their daily runs, always intoning their motto: Loyalty, courage, sacrifice.
The weather got harsher as the day advanced, and the mothers went to the Parachute School. There, Sergeant Julián Ordóñez welcomed them to begin with the second instruction, this time in landings and falls, simulated jumping from a MI helicopter and simulation of aircraft exit in a parachuting tower of 14 meters.
To the supermoms surprise, first sergeant Erika Meneses, daughter of Rosa, came to the landings and falls simulator where she was training the Military Parachute Course No. 804. She commanded the mothers to form a line with the students and they, very obedient, followed the instructions without hesitating. They gave jumped to the sound of condor, condor to the end, an animation used by military paratroopers while training in this model full of rice husks that muffle their jumps.
Then they visited the MI model, where the sergeant explained to her mother, with the complicity and love that characterizes them, the simulated door jump of helicopter. She put the helmet on and told her to fold her arms, stick them to her chest, bend her knees, make the jump about 50 centimeters high and, once she jumped, she had to shout with boldness: 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004 , parachutist!.
At the end of the exercise, the supermoms went to the 14-meter tower where the departure of an aircraft is simulated. They received a parachute to observe and learn the technique and tactics of parachute soldiers preparing to perform important airborne military operations under their slogan From the clouds, victory.
From there, they went to the Air Assault School, where the majestic 30-meter high tower was waiting for them. This tower is the largest in South America and in which officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces and countries of the international community are trained in air assault techniques, and only Mrs. Rosa dared, without hesitation, to rappel back down at 14 meters high, technique used in maneuvers or urban combat operations.
Once she descended from the tower, Mrs. Rosa said: I felt something beautiful; I thought that maybe I was going to get dizzy, I was going to be scared, but I said, no, this is nice. I can already become a parachutist! (laughs).
Her daughter, who was watching her all the time, with pride said: I never imagined her doing what I do, what we do every day. Seeing her today doing this made me feel bigger, made me feel proud; I realized where my roots are, because to see that courage, to see what she was able to achieve today, I already know why I am like that!
The experience of the supermoms ended after noon. The sun was their faithful companion as well as the high temperature, but they did not stop them at all. They gave the best of themselves during the activity, which was unforgettable for all of them, proving that the strength of a mother has no limits. As Mrs. Rosa said: The truth is that these women are warriors, they are strong. I thank God because I could experience something as beautiful as this.
Although she did not want her daughter to be a military officer but a nurse, see her dressed in white, Sgt. Erikas father was the one who encouraged his daughter to wear the uniform, because he dreamed of being a soldier in his youth. However, today after 20 years in the military career, Rosa feels more than proud of Erika and told her: I wanted you to follow my steps, to leave a mark, and here you are doing it. For me, the best part is the principles.
With strength and abnegation, the mothers of the military support and pray every day for their children, who have the special mission of safeguarding our country. Mothers do not wear uniforms, do not receive military degrees or decorations, but each one of them has the necessary fuel, the unconditional support that drives all the Multimission Heroes to continue performing their hard work in any place of the Colombian territory. To you, warrior and dedicated women, Happy Mothers Day!