Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
Military children learned about some things their parents go through during a deployment at the 3rd annual Dependent Deployment Day hosted by Cherry Point’s Marine and Family Services, May 1.
The children participated in some simulated events that a Marine or Sailor would go through while preparing for deployment, such as martial arts training, gear issue and of course the welcome home.
“This event went extremely well, and it gives parents and children insight as to what one another is feeling during deployments,” said Christine Krysa, a Counselor with Marine and Family Services.
The children started the day with a demonstration of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, and participated in a light physical training session.
“This event is a lot of fun for the children and I am having a blast watching these kids doing the bear crawl,” said Cpl Martin Gardner, a food service specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274.
After the predeployment training the children said good-bye to their families, filled up three busses and were on their way to their deployment location, the Aerial Port of Embarkation.
At the APOE the children got to meet a military working dog named China, and received a gear demonstration from infantry combat equipment instructors.
The children watched a demonstration on the flak jacket, Kevlar helmet, sleep system and pack that their parents would be issued for deployment.
“The working dog was a mutual favorite for my group,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Sharples, a squad leader with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2. “These kids did awesome things today and their parents should be proud of them.”
After a fun-filled time at the APOE the children loaded up the busses again and came “home.”
The parents waited at the air station theater, with signs in hand, for the arrival of their children to get back from their “deployment.”
The children arrived to bright colored signs and the sound of applause erupting from their parents.
Once inside the children were called up to the stage where they received their dog tags, and a child size sea bag full of toys.
Krysa said 117 children participated in the 2010 Discovery Day, making it the biggest turn out to date.
“All of the kids seemed to have a great time,” said Krysa. “Both the parents and children learned how it feels for the other during a deployment even if it was just for an hour.”