FORT HOOD - The 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment returns from the time-honored New Year's Rose Parade. But the soldiers did much more than marching during the trip.
Through a partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department, the soldiers' horses had a place to take a break from the ride while their soldiers did some ride alongs.
From the stables to the streets, the Detachment soldiers explored a different side of law enforcement in sunny California.
"We went to South Central area. We went through Compton and Crenshaw and did a lot of stuff down there. And every time we went out, they were doing arrests," said Sergeant Randy Raper.
"Eye-opening. It's pretty much what they get to deal with on a daily basis. Like whatever you see on TV is completely different," Specialist Trevon Price said.
Raper and Price were just a couple of the soldiers who got a taste of the officer life and more inspiration for a future career.
"When I get out of the Army, I'm trying to go work for DPS, I've always wanted to be a State Trooper," Raper said. Raper comes from a family of law enforcement officers.
He got a special bird's eye view of LAPD operations, a highlight of his journey.
"They took us everywhere and showed us the Hollywood sign, Dodgers Stadium, took us to the beach," he said.
The journey, not possible without a lot of care for each U.S. Army horse.
"They have to be walked out for at least 10, 15 minutes before we put them in their stalls, and they enjoy it. The first thing they do is roll on the ground," Sergeant Dominique Greeley said.
It was a memorable experience all paired with Equest Fest showcase and Rose Parade memories.
"As far as the eye can see, down the whole road you're traveling, there's all kind of fans for the football game, fans of New Year's Day, fans of LA," Greeley said. She said it's important for her to show everyone they are representing the old history of the Cavalry.
The Rose Parade is not the only opportunity for the Horse Detachment to showcase their skills--they do demonstrations every Thursday at 10 in the morning on post and they march in community events in Fort Hood neighborhoods.
© 2018 KCEN-TV