Aviano children go through mock deployment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Justin Goodrich
  • Det. 8, Air Force News Agency
Aviano Air Base children were painted in camouflage and went through a deployment line April 20 in an effort to show them what their parents go through.  

"Deployments for a child are a very depressing thing, and especially for particular ages who do not know how to deal with it," said Senior Master Sergeant John Roth, the base deployment coordinator.

Aviano officials hold a mock deployment for children of deployed members twice a year to give them a taste of what their parents' experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan might be like. It is a good way to take the mystery out of deployments and make them easier for children to deal with.

Learning more about a subject makes it easier to understand and that is the idea behind the children's deployment. The program started four years ago and quickly became a big attraction for kids.

"They are asking their parents, 'When are you going to get deployed so I can be a part of this,'" said Kris Kessler, who is in charge of the Aviano Elementary School Deployment Club. "It means so much to them. The whole community has accepted this as a real positive part of deployment."

This year, 130 children from the elementary and middle school got "deployed," and more than 60 volunteers helped with the deployment process.

"As long as I can help them to understand more about what is going on, that it will make me feel better to know that if I ever had kids, I would want them to understand too," said Airman 1st Class Heather Fisher, a volunteer helping with the mock deployment.

With programs like this, Aviano AB warfighters taking part in the war on terrorism know their children are in good hands back at home. 

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