Buckley youths "deploy"
By Tech. Sgt. J. LaVoie, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 14, 2009
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- For its first "Year of the Family" event, Team Buckley "deployed" 58 children to Camp Rattlesnake on Buckley Air Force Base during the base's first youth mock deployment Oct. 3.
The mock deployment was an effort by the 460th Force Support Squadron to help Buckley youths adjust to having a parent deployed.
"With the on-going real-world deployment schedule, children have many questions about what happens when their parents are involved with a deployment or exercise," said Thomas Cox, 460th Force Support Squadron youth programs. "This program helped them understand what their parents encounter."
The children had the opportunity to take a tour of a Blackhawk and Chinook Helicopter, drive an explosive ordnance robot, learn military first aid, see an honor guard demonstration, dine on meals-ready-to-eat for lunch as well as other activities.
"I couldn't be happier. It was one of the best events in youth programs in over a year. I do believe the kids benefited," said Mr. Cox. "Several parents e-mailed saying children feel more comfortable with (deployments)."
Maj. Beth Peters, 460th FSS, whose son, age 9, attended the event, also believed the event went well.
"It was an awesome experience for him. He thoroughly enjoyed it," she said. "For me as a parent, it was good to let my son experience what I experienced while I was gone."
In the case of Major Peters, the event spawned further conversation about deployments with her son. Additionally, Military Family Life consultants were available throughout the day to address any concerns children had about deployments. The mock deployments went so well, the 460th FSS plans to make it an annual event.