We salute the brave men and women working or stationed at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, encompassing more than 134,820 acres, the largest state-owned and operated field training site in the United States. Camp Shelby Training Site (CSTS) is located in portions of Perry and Forrest Counties, in south Mississippi.

The training site was established during World War I and it has served almost continuously since then as a training site, not only for the Reserve Components of the Army, but also for the Active Components of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The training site consists of a mix of State, Department of Defense, and U.S. Forest Service lands in the DeSoto National Forest.Throughout the year, over 100,000 troops from all branches of the United States military train here. Numerous non-DOD and civilian agencies also conduct activities here.

To our brave men and women of the armed forces      
Heartfelt thanks for the sacrifices you
have made and continue to make
for your service to
our country
and thanks to your familes
for the sacrifices they make.

May God Protect You and Bless You Always!

Support our Military

Support our military and veterans

Dear friend,
Do you think a song can change the country?
With your help, it can.
IAVA just announced they are teaming up with rock band O.A.R. on a new campaign- OpenUpYourArms.org. The site features a pledge that all Americans can take to support our nation’s troops and veterans.
Will you join me in supporting the campaign?
Visit www.OpenUpYourArms.org to watch a video the band made about the campaign, and then help IAVA and O.A.R. reach their goal of 11,111 signatures by November 11th - Veterans Day.
Every person that signs the pledge through October 20th at midnight EST will receive an email with a link to an exclusive video for O.A.R.’s “War Song,” which the band wrote upon returning from their USO visit to Iraq and Kuwait in 2007.
If you post about the campaign on Twitter or Facebook, IAVA will also enter you to receive an exclusive shout out from O.A.R. at their next tour stop. 
With every name added to the pledge, you’re helping us grow a new movement that honors and supports our men and women in uniform.
Thank you for your support.

Adopt-a-Soldier for the Holidays

While we are in the midst of turmoil every day, we can still take time to support our brave and courageous soldiers.
I just learned today of a new 'Adopt-a-Soldier' program at Camp Shelby where families can invite a soldier (or soldiers) into their home for Thanksgiving or Christmas for the day. This would, of course, be solders who are stationed at Camp Shelby who will be away from their families during the holidays.
Those interested can contact Major Timothy Harrelson with Morale, Welfare & Recreation at Camp Shelby. He said he is best reached by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Another opportunity is to support local families of soldiers who are deployed at Christmas with something during the holidays. He is going to send me contact information for the state coordinator for the family support group.
They can also coordinate transportation for soldiers who have been invited to Christmas parties or can provide facilities at Camp Shelby for food catered by a restaurant to be brought in for a group of soldiers.
With the holidays approaching, it is a great time to show our appreciation for our military.
Please make a note of this and plan what your family can do.  We will still coordinate a Christmas Project within our group. More info on that soon.

Email the Troops

The troops would love to hear from YOU!  for links to websites with information on emailing the troops. Below are links to websites that give suggestions on supporting the troops in other ways.













Here's to the Heroes


 This is dedicated to all the men and women who continue to fight for our freedoms. Thank you!!!




Little Soldier Girl "Didn't Want to Let Go"

Four-year old Paige didn't want to say goodbye to her daddy before he was shipped off to Iraq

Updated 12:34 PM EDT, Wed, Oct 7, 2009

A family photo that shows a little girl beside her father and his fellow soldiers in uniform as they prepare to go to war has resonated well beyond the tight knit Bennethum clan.

Four-year-old Paige Bennethum really, really didn't want her daddy to go to Iraq.

So much so, that when Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum lined up in formation at his deployment this July, she couldn't let go.


No one had the heart to pull her away. Paige's mom Abby captured the moment with her camera and her aunt passed the image along to a Berks County, Pa. newspaper.

The commanding officer allowed Paige to say goodbye as her dad prepared to ship off from Fort Dix.

"I’ve had strangers looking me up online, sending me messages that they are touched by it ... offering a lot of support," Abby Bennethum told NBCPhiladelphia.

The picture took on a life of its own online this week. Abby says that suddenly, people were knocking on her door. "Literally overnight, there's all these people that just want to do anything they can," she says. Though she says her husband hasn't seen any stories about his family yet, he expects to.

For her part, Paige still remembers how she felt that day in July. Looking at the picture of herself – her dad now overseas – Paige remembers, "I didn't want to let go of him."

She calls the work he does transporting supplies across the Iraqi border, "just nice."

But that doesn't change her feelings.

"I just miss my dad right now," she says.

Sgt. Bennethum, 30, is expected home next July. Until then, Paige plans to help her mom take care of her little sister and a new baby that's on the way.

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