CLARKSVILLE, Ohio -- Ten members of the 178th Wing celebrated Veterans Day early with campers attending Camp Sunrise located at Camp Joy in Clarksville, Ohio, Aug. 10.
The week-long camp, located on the 315-acre Camp Joy, is for youth ages 6-17 who are impacted by HIV/AIDS.
178th Wing members participated in a Veterans Day breakfast as part of the camp’s theme of holidays. Throughout the week, campers celebrated all the major holidays of the year.
Along with breakfast, the Airmen were presented with a poster signed by all of the campers and were treated to two poems read by the campers.
After breakfast, the Guardsmen split up into smaller groups to participate in sports, arts and crafts and cooking.
Camp Sunrise was founded in 1994 for children affected by HIV/AIDS and is the only camp of its kind in Ohio.
This year, there were 59 campers and 24 support staff and counselors, all of who are volunteers.
The camp is funded by Equitas Health, which makes it possible for the campers to attend free of charge.
Master Sgt. Kiesha Williams, a member with the 178th Wing Mission Support Group, discussed her experience at the camp’s early celebration of Veterans Day.
“We went there to be honored by them, and they ended up inspiring us in so many ways,” said Williams. “They were intelligent, driven and enthusiastic about their futures. They had every reason to be mad at the world, but instead they were grateful for some of the small opportunities they've been given in life so far. How could anyone not be inspired by all that positivity?”
This was the 23rd year Camp Sunshine conducted activities and events for youth affected by HIV/AIDS.
"I am very grateful to have met the kids at Camp Sunrise." said Senior Airman Christina Pumphrey. "They were all very positive, cheerful , and appreciative to have us there. They impacted me greatly with how welcoming and kind they were to us and it brightened my day."