by Tanna Tarpley

Guam - It's almost every year at least one of Guam's service members is deployed or placed on military orders leaving their family to take care of the home front. But it's through the dedication of the Guam National Guard that our heroes dependents are given another alternative to help cope with months far apart.

The Guam National Guard started up it's eighth annual Camp Freedom session this week. The program's first session was called to order in 2005 due to the region's increasing deployment rates of troops. Ten children signed up for Camp Freedom this summer. These numbers are made up of parents of children that have been will be or are currently deployed.

As program coordinator for the initiative, Captain Melvin Palarca said the camp is essential. "And what the goal for Camp Freedom was a few years ago when the war started we wanted to have an event for kids of the deployed soldiers or the deployed service members - a place for them to come together and meet each other and just help them get over their parents being gone so long," he explained.

With kids ranging in age from 5-17 years old, the camp continues to act as a safe area for the children to participate in events and activities as well as an outlet to help the children cope with their parents' deployment.

The children today picked up trash along Vietnam Veterans Highway. One of the camp's main themes is "Educating Children on Military History", geared to help them appreciate and understand a little more about what it is their parents do out in the field.