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Military children spend a day in their parent’s shoes

Staff Sgt. Bernice Asiedu, a 28th Comptroller Squadron financial analyst non-commissioned officer in charge, welcomes her family home from their mock deployment during an event on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021.

Staff Sgt. Bernice Asiedu, a 28th Comptroller Squadron financial analyst non-commissioned officer in charge, welcomes her family home from their mock deployment during an event on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021. The Kid’s Deployment Line honored military children and allowed them to go through a deployment line, do activities with security forces defenders and participate in activities their parents would experience during deployment preparation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Hannah Malone)

Ennsley, a military child, checks herself in a mirror after having camouflage paint applied to her forehead at the Kid’s Deployment Line event on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021.

Ennsley, a military child, checks herself in a mirror after having camouflage paint applied to her forehead at the Kid’s Deployment Line event on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021. The event allowed children to see what their military parents experience while preparing for a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Hannah Malone)

Airman 1st Class Jordyn Eubanks, a 28th Operations Support Squadron aircrew and flight equipment technician, shows Grayson, a military child, how to don aircrew flight equipment at the Kid’s Deployment Line event on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021.

Airman 1st Class Jordyn Eubanks, a 28th Operations Support Squadron aircrew and flight equipment technician, shows Grayson, a military child, how to don aircrew flight equipment at the Kid’s Deployment Line event on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021. The event was hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center to celebrate military children and the sacrifices made by their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Hannah Malone)

Military children pose for a photograph at the Kid’s Deployment Line event hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021.

Military children pose for a photograph at the Kid’s Deployment Line event hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021. Children attending the event participated in a mock deployment line and had the opportunity to see how their military parents prepare for a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Hannah Malone)

A group of military children attend a “pre-deployment” briefing at the Installation Deployment Readiness Cell on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021.

A group of military children attend a “pre-deployment” briefing at the Installation Deployment Readiness Cell on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 17, 2021. The briefing was part of the Kid’s Deployment Line event hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center. The event allowed children to participate in a mock deployment line. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Hannah Malone)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Dozens of children filled the Installation Deployment Readiness Cell auditorium April 17 to attend a “pre-deployment” briefing at Ellsworth Air Force Base. The briefing, along with various other activities, was part of the Kid’s Deployment Line event hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

April is recgnized as the Month of the Military Child and celebrates the resilience and strength of kids who live a different life than many of their peers. Military children tend to move every few years -- attend new schools, make new friends and adjust to new cultures.

The Kid’s Deployment Line is an event that allows military children to see what it’s like to go through a deployment line, much like their parents would.

Approximately 120 children went through a PDF line, received a briefing and then deployed to the sterile room. They interacted with security forces, watched a military working dog demonstration, tried on aircrew flight equipment and more.

“While the children are ‘deploying,’ the parents and families make welcome signs and then welcome them home from ‘deployment,’” said Brandy Wyatt, the AFRC flight chief. “The purpose is for children to get experience ‘leaving’ on a deployment and getting welcomed home.”

The children received a t-shirt, backpack, and goodies at each stop along the PDF line. They also gained a better understanding of the deployment process and what it’s like to walk in their parents’ shoes.

(Editor’s note: COVID-19 safety measures were observed for this event.)

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