THOMPSON'S STATION, Tenn. (WTVF) — A group of children who lost a military parent came together at a local camp for the week surrounding July 4th.
Michael Hansen said he's had fun making memories on swings and zip lines.
"There’s a water one, and I hold on, and I love doing that because I belly flopped on it, and it felt good," Hansen said.
These happy moments are overshadowed by ones that aren't as bright.
Sean Parker said, "It’s amazing because you’re not alone here, people love you, you’re fighting through storms, the same storm everyone else has been through-- You’ve lost a parent."
Every single camper has lost a defender of freedom. Lorimar Cintron is now a mentor through the Soldier's Child Foundation after being a camper herself. She's still overcoming her fears, and making it to the top of the climbing wall reminded her of everything she's overcome.
"First year I came to Journey Camp as a camper, I went through a really rough time in my life, and it really helped me spiritually and emotionally, and then after I was done I realized how many people actually cared about me," Cintron said.
Around her neck, she wears her dad's photo on his Army tag. He was killed in Iraq during an attack.
"And I took that dark side of my life and turned it into light. Now I can share that with the kids and it makes me super happy," Cintron said.
The younger campers look up to Cintron as a mentor.
"Most of the strength I have is from them because they are so young, yet so strong," Cintron said.
While they've been forced to grow up fast, a Soldier's Child Foundation helps them be a kid a little bit longer. It costs around $500 to send a child to Journey Camp for free. The non-profit's next fundraiser is a golf tournament in Murfreesboro at Stones River Country Club. Go here for more information.