Rangers, Families and friends gathered May 30 for 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment's Family Day on Fort Benning. The Rangers took a break from training to display a sample of activities for their loved ones.

Family Day consisted of activities at the live-fire ranges and shoot house, jumping from the 34-foot Airborne towers and rappelling from the fast-rope towers. A cookout, static display of Ranger equipment and activities for the children rounded out Family Day.

"This is something the battalion wanted to do for the great Families we have supporting us," said 1st Lt. Brooks Beless, project officer. "Give them an opportunity to see what their Ranger does on a daily basis, but also make it enjoyable and in a safe environment."

Beginning in the morning, Families flocked to the small-arms ranges to fire some of the weapons Rangers carry on missions or during training. They also lined up for the chance to jump out of the 34-foot simulated aircraft tower and to rappel down the tower located at Honor Field.

Some Family members have a pretty good understanding of what their Ranger does. But for Bob Dotson, whose son serves with the battalion, this was an experience.

"We had a blast going off the 34-foot tower - I thought it was pretty high up for a retired submarine officer," said Dotson, who spent more than 20 years as a Navy enlisted and officer submariner. "Then we got to shoot and do the live-fire in the shoot house building with simulation rounds."

Dotson said in his Navy days, more than 5,000 people would pack on to carriers to get tours of the ship and to watch the airplanes take-off from the deck. But the audiences never got an experience like Family Day.

"You get a better appreciation of everything that these guys do," he said. "I have an AR-15 and go to the range occasionally, but that's not the same as clearing a room or building."

Dotson was vacationing with his son and Family and waited to return home to Las Vegas so that he could partake in the battalion's Family Day.

"It was worth the extra day ... so I could do this."

"We are happy the Families had a great time with all the activities," Beless said.