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A&FRC connects deployed Airmen, Families

Children of deployed members gather for a photo with Santa Claus Dec. 13, 2014, in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted the event and provided each child with a stuffed animal containing a special pre-recorded message from their deployed parent. (Courtesy photo)

Children of deployed members gather for a photo with Santa Claus Dec. 13, 2014, in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted the event and provided each child with a stuffed animal containing a special pre-recorded message from their deployed parent. (Courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Schriever Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted a deployed family holiday party for more than 40 spouses and their families Dec. 13, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The monthly event gave families an opportunity to meet other deployed families and to share what helps them get through the deployment. Many of them reached out to one another for help with child care, emotional support and any other needs.

The special holiday event was hosted and coordinated by Master Sgt. Tonya Jones, A&FRC.

"As the readiness NCO, my primary duty is to stay connected with deployed families and assist members and their families through all cycles of the deployment," said Jones. "I do this by hosting a monthly deployed family event, sending information on upcoming base and community events and reaching out and making sure all is well."

One of the highlights of the event was each child received a stuffed animal that played a special message from their deployed mom or dad.

"The expressions on their faces were priceless," Jones said.

Staff Sgt. Kathryn Benoit, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron, attended the event with her son and daughter. She said it was amazing.

"The A&FRC reached out to me and invited us to this special event," she said. "The kids loved it."

Benoit said her family has been to nearly each event since her husband deployed, but that this one was extra special.

"The kids have been playing the message in their stuffed animal every day since they got it," she added. 

She said that even though deployments can be difficult, the event showed her she has a family here at Schriever.

"This means a lot, especially during the holidays," said Benoit. 
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