SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Tech. Sgt. Anthony Reeves reads "Daddy All Day Long" to his children back home at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., where he is deployed from. The Story Time Video Program gives deployed members the opportunity to still be a part of their children's lives by reading to them via video. Sergeant Reeves is with the 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cassandra Locke)
SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Tech. Sgt. Anthony Reeves reads a story to his child to be sent back home. Sergeant Reeves is deployed from the 43rd Airlift Wing at Pope Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cassandra Locke)
by Senior Airman Cassandra Locke
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
11/21/2005 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- After years of deployments, some of the ideas Airmen come up with evolve.
As the holidays approach, one of those simple ideas is making an impact on family members back home.
The Story Time Video Program gives deployed troops here the opportunity to be a part of their children’s lives though they are thousands of miles away. The idea: parents are video taped reading to their children.
Airmen at this base can read one of more than 200 stories to their children or simply talk to their families at the learning resource center -- on tape. All they need to do is buy a $1 video disk.
“It allows Airmen to still be a part of their children’s lives while they are so far away,” said Staff Sgt. Kristen Bamberger, the learning center manager deployed from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. “I know many parents are afraid their children will forget what they look and sound like while they are gone.”
The program is another example of how the most important things in life aren’t always the most expensive, base officials said. It shows families that even though their loved ones may not be home, they still care.
So far more than 140 people have created a personalized tape this rotation.
The video disc holds 30 minutes of footage. Once finished with the footage, the person can then send their tape back home for their families to see.
“The hero of this story is the young Airman who came up with the idea and touched the lives of hundreds of people,” said Col. Ted Kresge, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander.
For Tech. Sgt. Anthony Reeves, it is a good way to communicate to 12-year-old Ashley and 6-year-old Danielle on their first Christmas away from dad.
“I felt it was my responsibility as a parent to allow my children the opportunity to see me because I can’t physically be there with them during this time,” said Sergeant Reeves, from Pope AFB, N.C. “People often remark that as military members we are making the supreme sacrifice by being deployed.
“But in my opinion, it’s our families -- particularly our children -- that are making the biggest sacrifice,” he said.
The learning center also has a video phone available. Spouses or loved ones can contact their base family support center to find out more about making contact that way.