Ann Brown, a civilian, got nicknamed Machine Gun Annie, for the way she was able to consistently push out rounds in the .50 caliber machine gun she had been given to operate. The graphic designer was almost embarrassed at her ability to shoot so quickly. She was also amazed that the bullets could go as far as 3,000 feet.
Brown is among a group of 40 civilians who have traveled to a special expedition allowing average people the opportunity to see what things are like for military men and women. Their day is filled with the same type of activities military personnel would do for real. But of course participants don’t get a chance to do that until they get past the boring stuff, such as touring the facilities.
The more exciting activities included firing of machine guns, seeing what happens during a suicide bombing, a demonstration where explosives go off and a Navy-style boat ride. Participants also got a chance to speak with real sailors during the course of their expedition.
Some of the participants were actual family members of military personnel. Through the expedition they got a chance to see how their husband, wife, mother or father goes about their day when they are on base.
Either way, every participant of the expedition left with an increase respect for what military men and women all over the world are having to go through to protect their country’s freedom. In some cases the effects are lasting enough that a few may even consider joining the military themselves.