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Posted: July 27, 2017 12:23 p.m.
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2-7 Soldiers show campers 'the ropes'

Field Day

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Spc. Neal Mahooney, Bravo Company, 2-7 Cav., paints the face of a camper at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force FTX week camp on July 20. Spc. Mahooney paints the face of a camper before the kids head out to do the obstacle course.

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Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment assigned to Fort Stewart took time to show campers from the Mighty Eighth Summer Camp the basic fundamentals of being a Soldier during Field Training Exercise Week, July 17-21.

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force hosted multiple summer camps for youths throughout the summer which were the WWI adventure camp, World War II adventure camp, WWII Experiences Camp and FTX camp.

During the Mighty Eighth FTX week campers learned how to march and were given Meals Ready to Eat, the same one Soldiers get to eat when out in the field. They also learned about the different types of camouflage followed by painting their faces. Then the camp concluded by completing an obstacle course.

“This is a great experience, showing the campers what the Army does on a day to day basis,” said Staff Sgt. Roger Whaley, noncommissioned officer in charge of FTX week. "The kids get excited wearing the military gear, being out in the woods and wearing the camouflage face paint. It is a good feeling knowing we are able to give the kids a military experience.”

Most of the kids who attended FTX week have family members who are in the military.

“It is a great feeling showing the kids what most of their parents do,” said Whaley.

Soldiers from 2-7 painted the kids’ faces with camouflage before they went out and completed the obstacle course.

Heather Theis, director of education at the Mighty Eighth Summer Camp, said, “The kids absolutely love this week.” Some of the campers’ favorite things out of this week was eating the MREs and playing Army out in the woods, she said.

“The best part about FTX week is the kids get to interact with their heroes,” said Theis. “When the Soldiers talk, you can definitely tell that those children look up to them,” she said.

“This is a great opportunity for children to work alongside Soldiers and get a better understanding of what they do,” said Theis.

The camp is an annual event that gives kids the opportunity to interact with Soldiers and learn new things about the Army by wearing camouflage, learning how to march in formations, eating MREs and competing in an obstacle course.


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