"Warrior Weekends" Shows Students Life Of "Weekend Warriors"

"Warrior Weekend" was the first time that many of the participating students had ever handled a gun.  They found that firing an M-16 can be challenging, but fun.

"I've had a lot of fun actually," said Celeste Lane, a D'Iberville junior.  "I liked shooting the M-16s the best."

Adreen Pritchett, a Biloxi senior said "shooting them guns and throwing grenades and the obsticle course" were her favorite activities.

Mississippi Army National Guard recruiters have designed this Warrior Weekend to show high school students what they can expect from life in the military.

"We're in the schools all the time, you know, doing programs and stuff, but a lot of times, they don't know what we do, you know, job-wise and this gives them an opportunity to see the basic combat skills that is involved in being a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard," said Trudy Letort, a recruiter.

A game of capture the flag tested newly learned tactical movements. Students say the real life training will help them make up their minds about military service.

"It helps me grasp the thought of what they do in the military," said Billie Eisert, a D'Iberville freshman.

"I plan on going into the military when I get older after I finish college and everything, so I just want to see how it was like and see if it was really what I wanted to do," said Phillip May, a D'Iberville sophomore.

Becoming physically fit is also a part of military life, a part that some students weren't so fond of. But most people said despite the tough stuff, they enjoyed the activities overall and will consider a future in the military.

Eighty-five coast high school students are participating in the warrior weekend. They are spending the night in the cabins at Camp Wilkes and will continue more activities Sunday morning.