OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — The 55th Mission Support Group became the first group to host a “Families of the Deployed” event Oct. 23 at the Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch.
The quarterly event was planned to coincide with Halloween festivities and included food, rides and giveaways as part of the activities available to 100 family members of deployed Team Offutt service members.
The 55th MSG commander, Col. Alan Dayton, attended the event and provided opening remarks.
“Going down range on a deployment is the easy part because we’ve trained you, we’ve given you equipment, heck, we’ve even given you a suitcase and the cloths to put in the suitcase,” Dayton said. “But when we leave folks behind, you our families are doing the hard work … you are truly our heros.”
Food and admission was sponsored by the Offutt Advisory Council and the Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch provided their lodge free of charge for the event.
Twenty members of the 55th MSG volunteered to run the event organized by Master Sgt. Lalainesharon Flores from the 55th Force Support Squadron.
Flores, who is married to another active-duty Air Force member, said events like this help make the time without a deployed parent go a little bit faster for the children.
“The kids have something to look forward to,” Flores said. “There’s a break in the long waiting for the family member. So I’m glad they have this initiative.”
The next “Families of the Deployed” event is scheduled to be hosted by another group in the first quarter of 2021. Dayton said groups will continue to host most of the events that were previously put on exclusively by 55th Wing chaplains.
“We were putting too much of this on the Chaplain Corp.,” Dayton said. “That was really the emphasis for this — to take some of that work off of them.”
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