Channel 3 Kids Camp connects children to wounded veterans

Campers prepare for Operation Purple Camp at the Channel 3 Kids Camp in Andover. (WFSB)

For the past five years, the Channel 3 Kids Camp has been connecting children with wounded veterans during a week-long event.

After raising the flag on the Fourth of July Tuesday, campers from military families banded together at the camp in Andover.

"They're able to share their stories together," said Alycia Williams, program director. "They are able to bond, to maybe talk about all the places they have gone and some of the challenges that they face."

It's part of what the camp calls Operation Purple Camp.

"It's nice to be around people that understand what it's like [and who] knows how to deal with it," said Garrick Moors of Carmel, ME.

Every summer, the Wounded Warrior Project partners with the National Military Family Association to send kids of servicemembers to camps across the country. It connects the children with those from other military families.

"It's just nice to have because most people don't know what it's like to actually have someone come back in uniform," said Torin Ruleman of Waterford.

Camp officials said there were about 120 children from across the country in Andover this week. For many, this year was their first year.

Some told Eyewitness News that it's comforting to know they aren't alone in the struggles that come along with being part of a military family.

"Other kids have been missing parents, like [for] sometimes weeks or sometimes even months [at a time]," said Myles Murphy of Annandale, NJ. "It's hard and it's nice to know that I'm like not the only one out there."

"We moved to Maine and nobody understands and then [we] come here again and then it's like, it sparks something," Moors said. "It's nice to be around these kids again."

The camp ends in a few days, but the children said their friendships will last longer.

"What happens here, I'm pretty sure we're going to stay close friends," Murphy said.

For more information on the Channel 3 Kids Camp, head here.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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