LAAFB hosts deployment experience for children
By Lynn Kirby, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published November 01, 2011
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The annual Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event was held Oct. 22, at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, Calif. The event was sponsored by the Airman & Family Readiness Center here and introduced approximately 120 military children to the reality of deployment.
The children ranged in age from five to 15 and passed through a series of mobility line stations where they received uniform t-shirts, dog tags, juice boxes, and immunization shots in the form of candy to complete their initial in processing. Master Sgt. Thomas Martin, Space and Missile Systems Center first sergeant, lined up the children into formation and introduced them to basic facing movements, emphasizing first on the importance of knowing one's right from left.
Once all deployers were processed they moved to the parade field where they were able to interact and engage with various displays and military-inspired activities including a Coast Guard military working dog demonstration; military ready to eat meal samples; an obstacle course; a Coast Guard patrol boat and more. The event ended with a team scavenger hunt to locate all the pieces needed to assemble an air rocket for launch.
After all the rockets had been launched the children were treated to an authentic welcome home ceremony complete with banners, balloons and a barbeque. While the experience may not imitate real-life deployments for military members, it does offer the children an opportunity to interact with various aspects of military life and provide an avenue for them to ask questions.
Martin said the point of KUDOS is to emphasize the importance of children in military families. "KUDOS creates stronger, more resilient military families; kids complete KUDOS."