The Army’s Army To Host Wilderness ‘Boot Camp’ For Surviving Military Children

Children of the Fallen Project™ youth and their mentors head to Fort Bragg’s Camp Mackall for outdoor adventure and wilderness survival training

Fayetteville, NC – March 18, 2015 – The Army’s Army, in partnership with Fazoli’s  and volunteers from the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) program at Camp Mackall, will host an all day, kid-friendly military boot camp for children who have lost a parent or guardian in combat. The event, which is part of an ongoing series made possible by the Children of the Fallen Project mentoring program, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 21.

During the event, Children of the Fallen Project youth and their mentors will work together, exploring the great outdoors and learning a variety of wilderness survival skills, such as how to build a shelter in the woods, how to identify poisonous wildlife, how to purify water, and various archery techniques. They’ll also practice some primitive cooking techniques and compete in a special Run-Knot-Run Challenge.

“Children of the Fallen Project youth have all endured a tragic loss, and we are committed to hosting events like this to facilitate their growth and development, and demonstrate the dedicated community of support that’s available to them,” commented Janine West, Executive Director of The Army’s Army.  “We’d like to thank SERE and Fazolis for providing this unique opportunity to help enrich the lives of these military families.”

The event will be led by SERE instructor Gordon Smith, who spent 26 years in the Special Forces. The SERE program provides Special Operations soldiers, including Special Forces candidates, Civil Affairs, Military Information Support and Special Operations aviators and crew, with training in survival, evasion escape and the Code of Conduct. Special Forces students train at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School for up to two years to become qualified to join Special Forces. SERE is one of the steps in this rigorous training.

When a soldier is killed in the line of duty, the loved ones left behind often have a difficult time coping and finding a place to escape from the grief. The upcoming Children of the Fallen Project event not only gives surviving military youth the opportunity to engage with others while learning valuable life skills, but enables military families to build lasting relationships with others who have experienced a similar loss.

If you would like to make a donation to The Army’s Army to help support initiatives like the Children of the Fallen Project mentoring program, please contact Janine West at (910)709-9671 or [email protected]


About The Army’s Army: 

The Army’s Army is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization made up of citizens and businesses who have pledged their support to those in the military. We do everything we can to make soldiers, veterans and their families feel welcome, appreciated and safe. The Army’s Army is dedicated to “watching over those who watch over us©.” For additional information, please visit or

About The Children of the Fallen Project:

The Children of the Fallen Project is a mentoring program established by The Army’s Army to help children who have lost a parent or guardian in the war. Through partnerships with local businesses and organizations including the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fayetteville Urban Ministry and Army Community Service Fort Bragg Survivor Outreach Services, the program pairs children with supportive mentors and offers regular events and activities for surviving military families to build lasting relationships and learn valuable life skills. For more information, please visit