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Military Families gather for Hearts Apart holiday event

Children listen as a live band performs Christmas songs at the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. The band took the children’s’ requests to play their favorite Christmas tune and played for them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Children listen as a live band performs Christmas songs at the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. The band took the children’s’ requests to play their favorite Christmas tune and played for them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Base leadership serve a holiday meal to families of deployed Airman during the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. At the event, the families received stockings filled with presents and raffle drawings throughout the night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Base leadership serve a holiday meal to families of deployed Airman during the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. At the event, the families received stockings filled with presents and raffle drawings throughout the night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

A Team Buckley child visits Santa Claus during the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. At the event, the families received stockings filled with presents and participated in raffle drawings throughout the night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

A Team Buckley child visits Santa Claus during the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. At the event, the families received stockings filled with presents and participated in raffle drawings throughout the night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Children dance to Christmas songs performed by a live band at the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. The band took the children’s’ requests to play their favorite Christmas tune and played for them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Children dance to Christmas songs performed by a live band at the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. The band took the children’s’ requests to play their favorite Christmas tune and played for them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, greets two children at the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. At the event, the families received stockings filled with presents and participated in raffle drawings throughout the night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, greets two children at the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11, 2014, at the 140th Wing dining facility on base. At the event, the families received stockings filled with presents and participated in raffle drawings throughout the night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emily E. Amyotte/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Team Buckley members participated in the Hearts Apart Family Holiday Dinner event Dec. 11 at the 140th Wing dining facility on base.

Hearts Apart is an Air Force-wide program that brings families of deployed service members together as a support system while the Airmen are away due to their military commitments.

"The Hearts Apart events bring military families from all branches together to enjoy a break from the hectic schedule of single parenting while our spouses are deployed," said Master Sgt. Jesse Quick, 460th Space Communication Squadron network operations branch chief. "We lean on one another and commiserate about the difficulties of separation, while offering advice and assistance to one another where we can."

At the event, families with a deployed or abroad member gathered to share a meal served by base leadership, spread holiday spirit and received prizes throughout the night.

Children received stockings filled with gifts that were high on their Christmas lists. They also colored in holiday-themed coloring books while snacking on Christmas cookies.
"I really enjoyed the dinner event and my daughter loved seeing Santa," Quick said. "The band was absolutely wonderful, as was having the wing leadership team there to enjoy the celebration with us."

The annual event is hosted by the Buckley Airman & Family Readiness Center to raise morale and holiday spirit.

"It's a way for spouses to network while their member is deployed, particularly if they don't have family in the local area," said Cynthia Harrison, A&FRC chief. "And I think the kids really enjoyed seeing Santa."
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