Young dependents experience deployment
by 1st Lt. Erin Dorrance
He saw his dad put on a tan camouflage uniform instead of a green one, he heard him jingling around the corner with some sort of long necklace and then he saw the stuffed-full green duffle bags by the door. Suddenly 7-year-old Andrew realized what was happening. His dad was deploying again!
Andrew's experience is a common one amongst today's military dependents. In order to help these children understand what happens to their moms and dads once they are dropped off on base before the sun peeks up over the bay, the MacDill Family Support Center is hosting a Family Member Deployment Line Aug. 25.
The first-ever deployment line for family members is open to all active duty spouses and children. The day will start with a 9 a.m. brief and deployment line at the Base Theater where kids will be issued flak vests, dog tags and important deployment information. After the briefing, buses will take "deploying" family members to Hangar 4 to see a KC-135 Stratotanker, a fire truck, 6th Security Forces Squadron dogs and other military displays until approximately 11 a.m.
"The Family Member Deployment Line will be a learning experience and give young dependents a better understanding of what their mom or dad does when they deploy," said Katy Thornton, director of the Family Support Center.
The day is an excused absence for the school district of Hillsborough County.
Participants must sign up by Aug. 20. To sign up or for more information, contact the Family Support Center at 828-0145.