Soldiers place sights on paintball
March 18, 2010
- Warrior Adventure Quest provides safe alternatives for Soldiers seeking a thrill after returning from combat.
- Units can choose from paintball, zip lining, scuba diving and whitewater rafting.
- The program began at Fort Benning in September.
For the 690th Medical Company, MondayAca,!a,,cs mission was similar to the mission in Iraq Aca,!" find the bad guy and take him out.
But the intent was totally different.
Aca,!A"This is probably the most fun IAca,!a,,cve had since IAca,!a,,cve been back, and this is probably the most fun our unit has ever had together,Aca,!A? SGT Sam Norgard said.
He and other members of his unit battled it out during a paintball game at Fort BenningAca,!a,,cs Woodlands Paintball Area.
The unit retuned home Christmas Day and was the third to participate in the ArmyAca,!a,,cs Warrior Adventure Quest program at Fort Benning. The transition program started here in September to help with reintegration into garrison life.
Aca,!A"For Soldiers who are redeploying, it gives them something fun to do with high adrenaline,Aca,!A? said Brittany Beadle, recreation specialist.
She said Soldiers are exposed to a great deal of high-adrenaline activities in theater.
Aca,!A"TheyAca,!a,,cre looking for that (thrill) back here, and weAca,!a,,cre trying to give them safe alternatives to find it,Aca,!A? she said.
In addition to paintball, Outdoor Recreation offers free zip lining, scuba diving and whitewater rafting, which Beadle said is a favorite. Units are informed about the program prior to returning and have 90 days to take advantage of it.
A paint polka-dotted SPC Jessica Dodd said paintball is a great way to create unit cohesion and release the stress of being away.
Aca,!A"When you first get to Iraq, itAca,!a,,cs so different,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"Your mind automatically transitions.Aca,!A?
The deployment was DoddAca,!a,,cs first, and she admits having a hard time going back to the life she left.
Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs boring when you come back (from a deployment),Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"When we would go on convoys in Iraq Aca,!A| I would get a rush.Aca,!A?
But in garrison, Beadle said, the days are not nearly as exciting. So Soldiers often turn to alcohol or fast cars and motorcycles for a kick, but WAQ presents safer options.
Aca,!A"It gives them a different frame of mind on fun, exciting things to do,Aca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"I think it does help.Aca,!A?
Beadle said the most difficult part is squeezing the program into the long list of redeployment tasks.
But for Soldiers like Dodd, itAca,!a,,cs worth the effort to do so.