On various weekdays, many tennis enthusiasts meet at the courts by Ryder Golf Club House on Normandy Drive for pick-up games, instruction and fun.
Monica Womack, a 22-year Army veteran, is one such enthusiast.
When asked why tennis has remained a part of her physical regimen for the last 10 years, Womack was clear.
“I like the professional competition of it, and it really keeps you in good shape, especially your legs,” said Womack, a lieutenant colonel assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve Command. “It’s a sport you can play even when you’ve reached the geriatric age,” she explained.
One of her tennis mates has indeed reached the geriatric age, and seems to view tennis as a secret fountain of youth.
“I have no pains,” said Ria Perkins, 78, who has been playing tennis since she was 10-years old.
Regardless of how long someone has been playing or their skill set, tennis remains a viable sport for anyone.
“We have all levels of skill out here, which is good for everybody, even those who are really good are very patient,” said Julie Milani, a Fort Bragg Family member. “It’s just a very welcoming group.”
“They are very welcoming and they welcome you regardless of what level you are playing at, from beginner to professional level.”
People email each other to play in the mornings or early afternoons, before meeting again around 5 p.m. most evenings, Milan said.
About 35 people routinely show up at the meet-up said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kevin Wells, of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. The invitation is advertised on the social networking site, meet-up.com, he said.
Wells relishes the turn-out, but wants others to take part.
“If you came out here with a racquet and you’ve never played tennis, we’d get you going,” he said.
Anyone who has access to Fort Bragg is free to join the group.
For more information on becoming active in tennis on Fort Bragg, visit http://www.meetup.com/Fort-Bragg-Tennis/ or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.