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franklin county times

Guardsmen's children enjoy camp

By Staff
OBSTACLE COURSE Tech Sgt. Chris Myers of the 186 Air Refueling Wing helps Zachary Bryant, 6, along the obstacle course at Camp Binachi. Bryant's dad was deployed April 18 on active duty in Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
April 28, 2002
With black and green war paint smeared across their faces, more than 20 children sweated through a 15-minute obstacle course of balance beams, pull-up stations and monkey bars Saturday.
The obstacle course was the last activity of a two-day camping trip at Camp Binachi that was set up for children of Meridian-based Air National Guardsmen who are overseas serving the country in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The two-day camping trip was put together by Lt. Col. Randy Pope, who handles public relations for the 186th Air Refueling Wing, and Connie Myers, mother of a deployed soldier. The two named the trip the "Kids Unit Training Assembly."
The goal: to get the children to meet and interact with each other and at least temporarily forget about the worries of a parent being gone.
Pope agreed.
Friday night the group enjoyed a bonfire built by local Boy Scouts and a weapons demonstration performed by members of the 186th Security Forces Squadron, then cooked S'mores over a campfire.
On Saturday, the youngsters split into groups and went fishing, fired guns on the shooting range and tried their hands at archery.
After a lunch that included military food, the group ended the day with a mid-afternoon test on the obstacle course. Some of the children didn't want to leave.
Six-year-old Zachary Bryant, tugged on his mother's arm and begged her if he could stay.
But some of the parents were tired and ready to go home.

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