MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Three people make their way through a field filled with obstacles. They slowly walk around the obstacle with weapons ready to fire, when suddenly, a burst of gunshots filled the air.
Instead of yelling for a medic or collapsing to the ground after taking fire, the group puts their hands in the air and walks off the field. This is not the latest in non-lethal defense measures, it’s paintball.
Service and family members alike can participate in this game at Coastal Paintball located on Parachute Tower Road. The store offers general repairs to paintball guns, replacement tanks for the guns and tank refills. It also offers paintball guns for sale and rent.
They have three types of fields for play, according to Bambi Bullerd, the owner and a retired Marine. They offer a speedball course, which is a small field where three man teams can play, and two courses with wooden bunkers and obstacles.
The sport of paintball can be very beneficial for people, according to Bullerd. The outdoor physical activity can improve a person’s health and develop skills such as teamwork, confidence, concentration and patience.
“The benefits of playing paintball are not just limited to the physical improvement,” Bullerd said.
The paintball course also offers unit training and can be a very beneficial training tool for Marines, according to Bullerd.
“You are using some of the same squad tactics you would use in actual combat,” Bullerd said.
The courses have the capabilities of supporting a company-size unit and can improve a unit’s communication, tactics and teamwork.
The course can also provide units with different combat scenarios including improvised explosive devices and land mines, according to Bullerd.
“We have devices that can be triggered by tripping a wire or by using a remote to simulate the use of IEDs,” Bullerd said. “This can be especially useful training for today’s battle field.”
“Paintball can be fun for the whole family not just for individuals, and it’s a good chance to spend time together,” Bullerd said. “Paintball is an adrenaline rush. It gives a person a good kick.”