National Guard weekend offers challenge for area’s warriors

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 14, 2002

The Mississippi Army National Guard is planning a challengingweekend for area warriors who think they may be up to the task.

“We’re inviting anyone 17 years and older to come and spend aweekend with the National Guard,” said Sgt. Lee Mathis.

“Warrior Weekend” is scheduled for Jan. 19-20 at Percy QuinState Park in McComb. Activities will begin when local participantsare picked up at the armory on Highway 84 around 9 a.m. Saturdayand will conclude when participants are brought back around 1 p.m.Sunday following a closing ceremony.

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During the weekend, students and adults will participate in pushup/sit up competition, tug of war with night vision goggles, landnavigation, rapelling and ropes course, military-style laser tagand other activities. Participants will be divided into 10-personteams, Mathis said.

“It’s going to be very well supervised by the National Guard,”Mathis said.

There is no cost to participate and meals will be provided bythe Guard.

“The only thing they need to bring is a sleeping bag or somekind of linens,” Mathis said.

Mathis said participants will need to be medically screened forthe weekend. Parental consent forms are also needed for those underage 18.

“They need to be in fairly average shape,” Mathis said aboutconditioning.

So far, 40 people have signed up and been cleared toparticipate. The deadline to sign up is Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Mathis said people in the southwest Mississippi area have beeninvited to participate. Guard officials are looking for about 250participants from the overall area.

“This is the first time to have Warrior Weekend in this area,”Mathis said.

Mathis added that he hopes to have it twice a year in thefuture, possibly in September and March.

While the event is not just for students, Mathis said WarriorWeekend is a good recruiting tool and a way for students who may beinterested in joining the guard to see what it will be like.Students interested in learning more about the weekend can speakwith their high school counselor while adults can contact Mathis at833-5981.

“You want something that’s exciting and a challenge, come tothis,” Mathis said.