SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: Augusta in Army Boots - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: Augusta in Army Boots

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FORT GORDON, GA (WFXG) -

The soldiers who serve our country sacrifice their lives each day to make sure Americans are kept safe. But what do these men and women really go through? I wanted to find out, so I headed to Fort Gordon for a special program called Augusta in Army Boots.

After a little bit of a struggle my own boots were tied and I was ready, or so I thought, to join the ranks at Fort Gordon.

The program is offered to community leaders to give them a chance to spend a day in the life of some our country's finest men and women.

"They get to experience what we as soldiers go through," says Second Lieutenant Salita Bellamy.

Lt. Bellamy was the soldier I was paired up with for the journey through 24 hours of army boot camp.

"I think I have my hands full but you are in great hands," said Lt. Bellamy about being paired with me, and she was right. After a few hours of training I was not exactly ready for combat.

Earlier in the day every participant was issued an M-16 Assault Rifle and an MRE, or "Meals, Ready to Eat" for lunch. This gave participants a feel of what life as a soldier would be like in a combat zone.  

After lunch the group ran through more exercises in the field, including a muddy crawl with our weapons.

"It's very enjoyable, very enjoyable. I find it entertaining, it is," said Lt. Bellamy with a laugh.

 Battle trained and ready, the group headed out to have our skills tested during a combat simulation, a difficult and very sobering challenge.

"You can definitely end up in the same scenario down range and there's no turning back once you get there," said Lt. Bellamy.

The experience left many participants in awe of everything military personnel do each day.

"To get them prepared to go out there and protect us. But at the same time putting themselves in jeopardy, putting their loved ones in jeopardy as far as losing them," said James O'Neal, one of the participants.

Every person who took part in the program slept in a tent on Fort Gordon. At the end of the program everyone was made an honorary Second Lieutenant, something those who participated will never forget.

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