Children get to experience their own "deployment"

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Deployment is difficult for families and for kids, it can be even more difficult to understand. To start off the Month of the Military Child, kids at Ellsworth Air Force Base had the chance to see what it's like for their parents to prepare for deployment.

It's an opportunity for children to see what their mothers and fathers serving the country go through when they have to say goodbye

"Getting the kids a chance for them to be a part of the experience and what it is to be prepared to deploy. How it's not just, it doesn't just happen. I think is a very cool and very important for them to gain context and understand what mommy and daddy go through," says Commander Joe Crespo, 28th LRS.

On the kids deployment line at Ellsworth Air Force Base, each child received a bag and went off to play in the bounce house before preparing for their deployment. The children lined up in their groups and made their way to the bus that would transport them to the deployment center. Some, more prepared than others.

"The kids go through so much and sacrifice and change, changes of stations and everything like that. It's a way to celebrate them and say thank you to them," says Jacob Garrett with Child Youth Programs on base.

Even if some children had a rough start to their deployment, they got through it. Crespo says kids are resilient and by growing up in a military family they learn how to cope.

"For everybody whose parent's are deploying it may seem like a long time, but it really isn't," says Lilia Trickey, a child on her second deployment.

Ultimately the children end the day with a better understanding of what their parents do and the process for deployments. Even if some of them were planning on staying longer.

"Being part of military family for at least my kids it made them very tough so both of them were like 'alright bye dad. We get to live what you do I'll see you in six months or half hour,'" says Crespo.