Friday, April 17, 2015

TOP STORY >> KUDOS: Helping children handle deployments

By Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs 

The Airman and Family Readiness Center sponsored its fourth annual Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event April 11 at Little Rock Air Force Base. Approximately 300 members of Team Little Rock participated in the event where multiple squadrons set up booths demonstrating common Air Force deployment activities to children. 

The purpose of KUDOS is to inform children about the deployment processes their parents go through each time they head down range. The event also helps lessen anxiety that children may have during a parent’s deployment. 

The event displayed activities that security forces, fire department, and personnelists perform.  Children also toured the inside of a C-130 and operated an explosive ordnance disposal robot. 

Children practiced shooting at a Nerf gun firing range and saw an interactive parachute exhibit sponsored by the 19th Operation Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment flight. 

Kirstyn, 11, said the event helped her understand what happens on deployments. 

“My favorite part was getting on top of the Humvee, behind the gun,” she said. 

Among other displays, the chapel, finance, medical group, legal office and Airman and Family Readiness Center assisted the children through an age appropriate version of the out-processing checklist. 

“KUDOS has shown that it can help put children more at ease, even if a little, when their parents have to deploy,” said Master Sgt. Kimberly Euton, the 19th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center noncommissioned officer in charge. 

“The event helps children know what their parents experience during the deployment process and down range, at a level they understand,” said Euton.  

Volunteers also gained insight from the event. 

“It is so much fun to play with the kids and see Airmen connect with the children,” said Senior Airman Kelsey Cook, a 19th Aerospace Maintenance Squadron support staff technician. “It’s really rewarding.” 

At the end of the day, Airmen and their children walked away from the event more informed. Parents said that KUDOS contributed in preparing their children for future deployments. 

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