Military kids experience a mock deployment

Published: Apr. 7, 2018 at 8:34 PM MDT
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April is the Month of the Military Child, and on Saturday local military kids at Ellsworth got a taste of what their parents go through when getting ready for deployment.

Military men and women sacrifice their time to serve our country, but their children sacrifice a parent.

And Ellsworth Air Force Base wanted to thank military families for their sacrifice with the 6th annual Kids Deployment Line.

Sergeant Todd Borrego says, "This is an opportunity to give back to them, celebrate them and just know that they're part of the family, the military family."

Kids ran through a little mock deployment to simulate what their parents go through when they're preparing for deployment... receiving medical supplies, trying on fatigues, and training.

Sergeant Todd Borrego says, "Living without a parent is tough. It's a difficult thing that they have to endure. However military kids often are more resilient. They experience things that other kids don't have to so it puts a strain on their family, but they're able to overcome that."

Heather Ryan's husband deployed a few weeks ago to Southeast Asia, and she says his absence can be stressful and emotional for her and their two kids.

Heather Ryan says, "All the day to day chores and activities end up becoming a one-man job so daily multi-tasking becomes an even bigger situation."

Heather says this mock deployment opens her kids' eyes into what's going on.

Heather Ryan says, "It makes them feel like they're a part of something as well so it's really nice the base includes the kids. Growing up as a military child, the base never included us so I like the fact that my kids are included."

Heather's son Bentley says he's sad when dad is away, but loves hanging out with him when's he's home.

Seven-year-old Bentley Ryan says, "I like to play with with and watch TV with him and fight him."

After their "training," the kids also experienced what it's like to be welcomed back home.