Military Families Thankful for Chance to Bond Before Deployment

Created: 06/08/2014 6:25 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch welcomed nine families to camp this weekend. Military families visited the ranch for weekend together. The weekend was organized by Operation Military Kids Program.

“Being able to support them and say thank you but also to give them some skills and as they cope and deal with the whole deployment journey,” said Operation Military Kids Program Camp Director Kia Harries.

Weekend participants had the opportunity to enjoy wildlife, hiking, swimming and many other activities.

“The best part was hanging out and just spending time with my family before my dad leaves,” said Halii Melcher.

The majority of the camp cost was covered by an Army grant, allowing families to afford a weekend away.

“Seven hours to come down here, but if it was a large expense to do this, we just wouldn’t be able to afford traveling that far and then coming somewhere for the weekend,” said TJ Melcher.

For the Melcher family, this was their last weekend all together for a while.

“I’m deploying coming up on Friday, so it’s actually just a few days until I take off… I’ll be gone for a year,” said TJ Melcher.

The camp focus was to help military families cope before, during and after a deployment and connect with families in similar situations.

Military families were thankful to have a chance to bond before deployment.