Families enjoy Thunder Over Augusta

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One of the first things the Wilson family looked for after arriving at Lady Antebellum Pavilion on Saturday was the military gun display.

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Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band performs Saturday at Thunder Over Augusta.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band performs Saturday at Thunder Over Augusta.

Lisa Kaylor
Staff Writer
E-mail | 706-828-3884

Military equipment and vehicles were displayed at Thunder Over Augusta to allow a first-hand look at machinery many soldiers use every day.

The gun demonstration allowed children to test M-16 and M-4 rifles, using lasers to hit targets instead of ammunition.

For Caleb, 6, and his brother, Blake, 8, it’s one of the high points of the annual Armed Forces Day festival.

“They got to do that last year and that was one of the first things we looked for when we got here,” said their mother, Kimberly Wilson.

The family had just watched a team of skydivers jump from a plane and sail slowly toward a large white arrow in the middle of the field, one leaving a blue smoke trail and two flying large American flags.

Other shows Saturday included the Team FMX Extreme Motocross Stunt Show and a performance by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.

UH-1 Huey and AH-1 Cobra helicopters gave riders a higher perspective of the festivities. That’s where Ashley Norris and her son, Elijah, 7, were headed next.

Elijah had also tested his skills with a military rifle, and declared the M-16 much harder than the BB gun he has at home.

“When you have to load it again, it’s really hard to push down,” he said.

The Norrises, who were attending the event for the first time, waited until about 5 p.m. to get there because
the weather had been overcast and rainy.

“We weren’t sure if the weather was going to hold up,” Ashley Norris
said.

She said she was enjoying the event and planned to be back.

“I love it. It’s really nice,” she said.

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