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KUDOS enlightens tiny deployers

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Master Sgt. Robin Elliott, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron unit deployment manager, helps children don gas masks during their “deployment” to Cocheo Park during the Kids Understanding Deployments Operations event here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Master Sgt. Robin Elliott, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron unit deployment manager, helps children don gas masks during their “deployment” to Cocheo Park during the Kids Understanding Deployments Operations event here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A volunteer for the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event gives a safety briefing to children going through a Pre-Deployment Function line at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A volunteer for the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event gives a safety briefing to children going through a Pre-Deployment Function line at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Senior Airman Scott Clark, 30th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, gives “spending money” to the children going through a Pre-Deployment Function line during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Senior Airman Scott Clark, 30th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, gives “spending money” to the children going through a Pre-Deployment Function line during the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Children attending the annual Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event gather around the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flights’ portable robot at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Children attending the annual Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event gather around the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flights’ portable robot at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Volunteers from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness department prepare to give gas masks to the children participating in the annual Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Volunteers from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness department prepare to give gas masks to the children participating in the annual Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Cocheo Park here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Children participating in the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event are welcomed back from their “deployment” with flag waving and cheers from the volunteers at Cocheo Park during this year’s event here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Children participating in the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event are welcomed back from their “deployment” with flag waving and cheers from the volunteers at Cocheo Park during this year’s event here Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. KUDOS simulated a deployment processing line for dependents to help them understand the deployment process their parents or guardians go through before deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lael Huss)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Children, along with their parents or guardians, attended the Kids Understanding Deployment Operations event at Cocheo Park here, Nov. 17.

The event was organized to educate service members' children and family members about the processes leading to and during deployments.

"I thought it was really cool to see what my dad went through when he was getting deployed," said, Amaya Favreau daughter of Tech. Sgt. Timothy Favreau, a 1st Air and Space Test Squadron flight chief. "I thought [this event] was really fun. I think my favorite part had to be when we were over by the bombs and learned about those. It was the first time I'd tried on a gas mask and I've always wanted to try one."

The Airman and Family Readiness Center, responsible for family members' programs during deployments, planned this event for children to experience what happens when their mom or dad deploys overseas.

Tech. Sgt. Brittany Spoutz, Airman and Family Readiness Center readiness non-commissioned officer, the director for the KUDOS event said, "this event really raises awareness and gives the children and the family members of military service members the opportunity to experience just a little bit of what their parents go through during a deployment."

Approximately 50 volunteers donated their time to give the 52 children in attendance their own deployment experience, despite extenuating weather circumstances.

"This year's event went really well ," Spoutz said. "It was high-energy. The kids and the volunteers were all in high spirits, all in all it was a fantastic turn-out. Thank you to all the volunteers, parents and, of course, the children for showing up, even in the rain."