ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - About 150 children from military families enjoyed a week of camping and activities at the YMCA's Camp Abe Lincoln in Buffalo, Iowa, Aug. 1-5.

Col. Richard Dix, Army Sustainment Command chief of staff, spoke with the campers, emphasizing their importance to their parents and value to the military. Dix also stressed that everyone needs a “battle buddy” to get them through the challenges of military life; he challenged the campers to help each other through difficult times.

Members of the Iowa Army National Guard stopped by during the camp, arriving in an OH-58 Kiowa. Campers were able to get a close look and learn about the chopper from its crew.

Among the activities available to campers are: swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, tower climbing, hiking, singing and dancing. Organizers sponsored two week-long sessions this summer.