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Saturday February 6th, 2016 1:36PM

Ranger tradition near Dahlonega off this year

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
DAHLONEGA - An annual Army Ranger tradition near Dahlonega is off this year because of federal sequestration budget cuts.

Officials with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion at Camp Merrill said the annual Mountain Ranger Run and open house are being cancelled this year.

Battalion XO, Major Dale Marrou said hopefully it's temporary.

"This being cut right now I think is initial reaction to just trying to find ways in which we need to reduce our budget, but overall, I think we're going to right the ship. The Army is going to get things right over the next few months, and I think you'll see this (open house) event continue in the future," Marrou said.

He said the open house, a tradition since the 1970's, has been a good community outreach, to show people just what goes on at Merrill, the mountain training of soldiers. Marrou said the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce estimated last year's turnout was close to 5000 people.

"It's always a good outreach program and opportunity for us to kind of show off what we do."

But Marrou said the bottom line is that training will continue.

"We're seeing a few other cuts and reduction of our supplies. Maybe we don't get to have all of the nicest new things that we'd like to have, but in truth, we're still going to make the mission happen," Marrou said.
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