Some Northwest Florida residents got a "crash course" in survival training on Friday.
Participants now have a new appreciation for what it's like to be a United States soldier.
It wasn't a typical day at work for Restaurant Owner John Perry. "I thought it was a good experience; a little more difficult than you would imagine, but it gives you some extra appreciation for the military," he said.
Perry is among other civilians who were honorary members of the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.
Friday's events provided water survival training courses for the civilians, running them through numerous exercises and scenarios.
Perry describes his day, saying participants were, "Strapped in like a stimulator plane; [we had to] try to figure out how to get up and out of those."
Sergeant Benjamin Rosciglione organized Friday’s event and says it’s a pleasure to see others taking an interest in what the military has to endure.
"It's nice to have new people," Sgt. Rosciglione says.
Along with the training, military personal had a chance to update their currency, allowing them to keep their skills sharp in the event of a real life situation.
Col. Steve Depalmer, at Eglin Air Force Base said, "To be able to do it just gives you a bit more confidence. And, if you ever, in the rare event, bail out, you'll know what to do in order to help rescue."
While residents like Perry didn't quite grab onto a rope that would take him in the sky, he says he's grateful to have the chance to take in a day in the life of a soldier.
"It's a great privilege,” Perry adds. “You know, being a business owner, being able to come out and enjoy and appreciate what the military does for us and our country.”
Eglin Air Force Base holds “Days in the Life” of events almost monthly.
The next one will take place August 15th.