Event helps National Guard families to cope - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Event helps National Guard families to cope

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Sylvester-- With a full day of swimming, fishing and jumping around, children's thoughts are still going out to loved ones. "It feels sad," says 7-year-old Quashala Bradford.

They're sad thoughts for the loved ones that are helping the war effort. "I don't want them to keep on taking my Daddy away because everytime they take my Daddy away, me and my Mama keep on crying because we don't spend time with my Daddy," says Bradford.

But while mothers and fathers are away fighting the war overseas, their families are finding ways to cope. They're having a full day of fun at Barbara Lott's Cakes in Sylvester. Organizer Marvin Lott says the National Guard families are his motivation for the event.

"I guess goodhearted and I just love kids," says Lott, "make them forget in their minds that their Daddy is in Iraq fighting and take it off their daddies and mamas." He's been doing it about every three years but it helps hundreds of families.

"It keeps the kids busy, keeps me busy so they're having fun and we're not having to run around worrying about what we're going to do to stay busy and keep our minds off of things," says wife and mother Sherita Stokes.

"They don't have to think about it. They don't have any reminder of it, they don't see it. They can be away from everything and it kind of relaxes their minds," says wife and mother Lashonta Williams. It also gives families a chance to spend the day with people who can relate to the absence of a loved one.

"It feels good because everybody out here is going through the same thing we're going through," says Damarcus Williams. It's something that families can do together while they're apart from husbands, wives, moms and dads.

"I want him to take care and I want my Daddy not to die and I want my Daddy to be strong for us," says Bradford. That's because families are being strong back home.

The event was also sponsored by the National Guard Family Assistance Program. Anyone interested in future events should contact 229-483-7302.

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