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NEWS | Aug. 15, 2012

Camp teaches children about their parents' deployment

By Senior Airman Anthony Hyatt Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

More than 40 sons and daughters of Joint Base Charleston military members learned about their parents' deployments during the Children's Deployment Camp 2012, held at the JB Charleston - Air Base and Weapons Station Aug. 14 and 15.

The Children's Deployment Camp, hosted by the Airman and Family Readiness Center, offered children, age five to 14 whose parents have recently returned from deployment, are currently deployed or are scheduled to deploy within the next six months, the opportunity to experience many of the same things their parents have to go through to prepare for a deployment.

Day 1

"These children received detailed briefings similar to what their parents receive before they deploy," said Master Sgt. David Godley, 628th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center noncommissioned officer. "Their briefing came from the Airman and Family Readiness Center, the intel office, public health, legal and finance."

To make the deployment line as real as possible, this Children's Deployment Camp simulated deploying the young troops to South Africa for "Operation Elephant Lift," according to Godley.

After the briefings, the deployers went through a deployment-processing line similar to what their parents go through.

628th Comptroller Squadron, A&FRC, 628th Medical Group and 628th Air Base Wing Staff Judge Advocate Airmen lined up, handed out important documents and processed the children through the line.

Later during the Deployment Camp, the children received a tour of a C-17 Globemaster III.

"This is my third year volunteering for the Children's Deployment camp," said Senior Airman Maechelle Shuler, 628th Air Base Wing Civil Law paralegal. "I love working with the children. I love watching their faces light up when they go out to the C-17."

Their tour at the Air Base ended with a Military Working Dog demonstration at the 628th Security Forces Squadron kennels and a robot demo with the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal shop.

Day 2

The second day of the Children's Deployment Camp focused on the JB Charleston - Weapons Station.

Military and Family Life Counselors coordinated activities for the children centering on coping with deployments.

They later visited Patriots Point, in Mount Pleasant, S.C., which is the home of Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, including the USS Yorktown, the Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Support Base Camp in the U.S.

"The Deployment Camp went great and the kids seemed to enjoy it," said Shannon Norris, Joint Base Charleston - Air Base Youth Center director. "They were able to get the best of both worlds - the Air Force side and Navy side."