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In Oklahoma City, soldiers from Fort Sill get a day out on the town

Volunteers with the Blue Star Mothers took the Fort Sill soldiers, most of who are still in basic training, to food and entertainment venues across Oklahoma City before showering them with presents and sending them back to Fort Sill.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Published: December 23, 2012

Standing at attention in their Army fatigues and with drill sergeants standing over them, more than 140 soldiers belted out “Jingle Bells” in unison.

They followed their rendition of the Christmas tune by reciting the Soldier's Creed, most with red Santa hats atop their heads.

“I am an American soldier ... I am a warrior and a member of a team ... ”

Volunteers with the Blue Star Mothers of America Edmond/North Oklahoma City chapter coordinated a day full of fun and food Friday for Fort Sill soldiers who couldn't go home for the holidays.

Their morning started with breakfast at the Renaissance Hotel downtown, followed by a stroll through the Myriad Gardens and a trip to the 45th Infantry Museum.

Then, the troops headed to Gattitown off Northwest Expressway, where they were fed, played games and surprised children with the tickets from their game winnings.

They played laser tag at Heyday Family Fun Center in Norman before ending the day at the Four Points Sheraton in Oklahoma City where Earl's Rib Palace catered dinner and the troops were surprised with Christmas goody bags.

These are a few of the soldiers who were treated to the holiday Soldiers Day Out.

Pfc. Cameri Coleman

Pfc. Cameri Coleman, 20, of Fredericksburg, Va., said being a woman in the military makes her proud.

“There is no difference between us and our male counterparts,” she said. “We can be just as strong as them.”

However, being a strong personality who likes to talk has been difficult.

“The discipline and the military customs have been a hard adjustment,” she said.

She plans to use her job as a pharmacy technician in the Army to go to college before becoming an officer in the Army.

Pvt. Shavanna Cambe

Pvt. Shavanna Cambe, 19, of Oxnard, Calif., was encouraged by her family to join the Army. Her aunt and uncle both served in the Navy.

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