And the Caissons Go Rolling Along

Subtitled:  Alison is dumb and accidentally deleted all her pictures.  We’ll just use my friend, Google Images, instead.


My friend Mandy’s husband, Steve, is the platoon leader of the Caisson platoon of the Army’s historic Old Guard.  They invited us out to Ft. Myer yesterday to meet the horses and see what the men of the caisson platoon do everyday.



For the uninitiated, this is a caisson:


Caissons were once used for field artillery purposes; you know, to carry heavy weaponry and ammunition.  Today, the Army uses mechanized vehicles to do such things (holla to the industrial revolution) but the caissons still serve a very important purpose:  to transport our fallen soldiers, among others, to their final resting place at Arlington National Cemetary.  It’s a quite an ordeal of pomp and ceremony.  Of freshly pressed uniforms, choreographed movements and well-behaved equine friends.  It’s also an ordeal of utmost importance.  The soldiers and horses are all in tip-top condition; they operate with reverence to their mission and respect to the fallen.

Ronald Reagan's Funeral Procession

But, on the lighter side of things, how cool would it be to have a job in which playing with horses was in your job description?  I mean, sure they probably come home smelling like horse every day, but they wear jeans and cowboy boots as their uniform.  No ACUs.  No combat boots.   They work in a horse stable smack dab in the middle of the Washington DC metro area.  With the Capitol Beltway on one side and airplanes continuously taking off just a few miles down the road, there, a stable full of beautiful horses sits.

How awesome is that?

We learned a lot yesterday, and of course, being the daughter of a reporter, I asked a zillion questions.  We got to meet the horses up close and in person; most were incredibly friendly and loved the attention.  I think it must be because there isn’t much estrogen in those stables, given the fact that only men work in the caisson platoon.   Between me and Mandy and our girls ( three for her, one for me), those horses must have really enjoyed all the ladies in their presence.

I really wish I had more pictures to share, but alas, they’ve all been deleted.

I did, however, take a picture of the horse shoe and coin Caroline was given during our visit.



As we finished up our visit to the stables, Caroline said, ‘Mr. Steve’s job is way more exciting than daddy’s job; he just works in a boring office all day.’  I’m sure if he weren’t contractually obligated to keep his mouth shut, Craig would have some interesting tales to tell us about his job.  But, since we’re not on the need-to-know list and don’t know a whole lot about Craig’s job,  it’s only natural for Caroline to find working with horses to be far more interesting than working in a boring old office.

And, on a completely unrelated note, in case you haven’t heard, there’s a storm a brewin’.  Being the under-reactor that I am, I’m not buying in to all the hype.  I did buy a few gallons of water and some batteries for our flashlights, but that’s about it.  I love how the meteorologists are practically peeing their pants in excitement and anticipation of Hurricane Irene.  Sure, plenty of areas are in serious danger of Irene’s path of destruction and inconvenience, which justifies the hype, however, we’re sort of in the outer band of the presumed affected areas.  We’ll get rain and wind, but I’m not sure about much else.

I hope not, anyway.

I’m not a fan of sitting in the dark.  But I’m REALLY not a fan of sitting in the dark without a working television or computer.

Pioneer woman I ain’t.


8 responses

  1. We had such a blast with you yesterday and I have a few pictures I think for you I can upload. Anytime you want to go, let me know…next time you get the horse juice! Tell Caroline her Daddy has a very cool job too!!!!

  2. Did you see that picture going around the Internet of the plastic chair that tipped over and the caption: “Virginia Earthquake 2011: We will rebuild”? Soooo funny!
    That’ll be your hurricane too.
    But it gives the weather and news people something to do. Maybe Geraldo will come to Alexandria and get his hair mussed.
    On another note–you’ve certainly had an educational week!
    Enjoy your last week of summer vacation. I’m sure you will.

    • I’ve been wondering where Geraldo is hiding. Usually he’s up front and center for these types of catastrophic, natural disaster type moments.

      I have seen that picture, it’s so funny! I hope our hurricane is like that, too. I’m actually kind of bummed because looking at the forecast, the storm will be done tomorrow morning and the sun will actually come out in the afternoon. I’d much rather it stay overcast. Because I’m odd like that.

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