Hill Air Force Base hosted Kids Deployment Day for a chance to give each child to experience what their mother or father would go through when they prepare to deploy. More than 700 kids had the chance to step into the shoes of their parents.
"It gives them the opportunity to go through the same steps as I would do if I were deploying today," said Senior Airman Pepper Palmer. "I have a sixth grader, third grader and a seven month old baby, so watching them come through kids deployment has been great. They can go through the process as if it was me deploying."
Ninety-eight percent of the children at Hill Field Elementary School are military children. Each child went down the deployment processing line getting dog tags, a gas mask, all the while watching the military dogs getting ready too.
"Events like this one we put it together to better understand the military and better cope through separation and transitions," says Hills Community Readiness Consultant Kim Taylor. "It will make the transition easier for them actually knowing what I'm going through and what I should expect the same things."
Changing places with their parents for a day is meant to help these resilient children get a break from being the ones who experience everything from a distance.
While the event proved to be a learning experience, it was mostly fun for the young ones.
"The robot is just humongous, with giant hands," says one elementary student. "Oh yeah, the dog, the dog, the dog, I love the dog," says another, beaming.
The staff at Hill Air Force Base says the event will help military children understand what their parents are going through the day they do deploy.