Marching toward health: Camp Ripley hosts Wednesday wellness fair
St. Cloud Times
CAMP RIPLEY -- The Minnesota National Guard will host a health and wellness fair for the soldiers and civilians who work on or at Camp Ripley from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Camp Ripley is a 53,000-acre regional training facility about 40 miles north of St. Cloud for military, federal, state, local and civilian communities, according to officials. The event will be at the Training and Community Center.
"Our intent is to deliver wellness information to our employees holistically, so the event doesn't just span physical fitness, which is what a lot of people think of when they think of soldiers, here, in the Army," said Andrea Foote, state occupational health nurse for the Minnesota National Guard.
More than 40 vendors covering areas such as nutrition and mental health will be at the post, which served as a training location for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Transportation. The event will include giveaways and food samples.
"We're reaching out to soldiers and civilians to do some diabetes screening because that's a huge issue, not only for us but nationwideand so we're really not that different from people who work out and about outside Camp Ripley," she said.
Camp Ripley is preparing for heavy use by military units from around the state and nation, including troops from Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota and Georgia, according to the Minnesota National Guard website.
"There are some soldiers who are out here working in maintenance and garage bays all day long and are on their feet and then there is someone like me who is a civilian here who probably sits behind a desk 75 percent of the time," Foote said.
"A lot of people perceive a soldier as someone who is always in great physical fitness, and the reality is soldiers and civilians, here, face the same things that you and I do, which is potential weight issues or not eating correctly with their busy lifestyles."