Military Kids Get 'Deployed' for a Day

A few dozen fresh-faced recruits - very fresh-faced - were deployed Sunday at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base as part of Operation Junior Heroes.
The program, a "mock deployment" for children of military servicemen and -women, tries to re-create scenarios similar to those experienced by troops during deployment, said Teresa Noon, director of the Arizona branch of Operation Military Kids, a support program for children and youths impacted by the deployment of their parents.
"It opens up communication between the parent and the child about how deployment affects the child and family," said Kim Sloan, president of the Ladies Auxiliary for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10188. "It's a way the child can visualize where Mom or Dad are when deployed. It alleviates the stress and uncertainty of deployment."
Operation Junior Heroes is a collaboration of all branches of the military as well as the Ladies Auxiliary, the Red Cross and Operation Military Kids.
During the two-hour deployment, about 50 youths ages 5 to 17 had the opportunity to tour a military transport airplane, test out a cot in the sleeping quarters, try on flak jackets and helmets while aboard a Humvee, dine on MREs (meals ready to eat) in the mess hall, learn basic first aid in the Red Cross medical tent, and get a weapons-safety demonstration using M-16 training rifles.
At HQ, where the young recruits checked in for duty, they were issued T-shirts, dog tags and backpacks full of goodies.

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Teresa Noon
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Released date: 
Dec 5 2011