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Dinner is served: Schriever, Peterson families join forces for deployed families dinner

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Spouses and family members of Airmen deployed from Schriever and Peterson Air Force bases enjoyed tacos, ice cream and more during a deployed families' dinner Nov. 3. The Schriever and Peterson AFB first sergeants coordinated dinner preparation and cleanup. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Spouses and family members of Airmen deployed from Schriever and Peterson Air Force Bases enjoyed tacos, ice cream and more during a deployed families' dinner Nov. 3. The Schriever and Peterson AFB first sergeants coordinated dinner preparation and cleanup. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Nana Carrigan holds up a mirror so Lidia can see her new face paint. Mrs. Carrigan has volunteered with deployed families' dinners as a face painter for seven months. Her husband, Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Carrigan, works for the commander support staff at Air Force Space Command headquarters. Schriever and Peterson families came together for the dinner after Schriever's dinner, scheduled for Oct. 27, was cancelled due to a blizzard that closed the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Nana Carrigan holds up a mirror so Lidia can see her new face paint. Mrs. Carrigan has volunteered with deployed families' dinners as a face painter for seven months. Her husband, Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Carrigan, works for the commander support staff at Air Force Space Command headquarters. Schriever and Peterson families came together for the dinner after Schriever's dinner, scheduled for Oct. 27, was cancelled due to a blizzard that closed the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Staff Sgt. Laura Phillips chooses a large teddy bear from among prizes given out at a deployed families' dinner Nov. 3. Sergeant Phillips is assigned to the Space Innovation and Development center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. Her husband, Senior Airman Edward Phillips, is deployed from the 310th Security Forces Squadron. Schriever and Peterson families came together for the dinner after Schriever's dinner, scheduled for Oct. 27, was cancelled due to a blizzard that closed the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Staff Sgt. Laura Phillips chooses a large teddy bear from among prizes given out at a deployed families' dinner Nov. 3. Sergeant Phillips is assigned to the Space Innovation and Development center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. Her husband, Senior Airman Edward Phillips, is deployed from the 310th Security Forces Squadron. Schriever and Peterson families came together for the dinner after Schriever's dinner, scheduled for Oct. 27, was cancelled due to a blizzard that closed the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Jennifer Nix and 6-year-old Carol wave to Daddy -- Maj. Paul Nix, who's currently deployed to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., from the Space Innovation and Development Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. To Mrs. Nix's right is Michael, age 3. Her child, due in about eight weeks, will be named either Katherine or James depending on the baby's gender. Schriever and Peterson families came together for a deployed families' dinner after Schriever's dinner, scheduled for Oct. 27, was cancelled due to a blizzard that closed the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Jennifer Nix and 6-year-old Carol wave to Daddy -- Maj. Paul Nix, who's currently deployed to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., from the Space Innovation and Development Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. To Mrs. Nix's right is Michael, age 3. Her child, due in about eight weeks, will be named either Katherine or James depending on the baby's gender. Schriever and Peterson families came together for a deployed families' dinner after Schriever's dinner, scheduled for Oct. 27, was cancelled due to a blizzard that closed the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Don Branum)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- When Schriever's deployed families' dinner scheduled for Oct. 27 was cancelled, who would have imagined it would lead to something better? 

The first sergeants at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., had a pretty good idea--they and their counterparts at nearby Peterson AFB brought the two communities' family members together for a meal and camaraderie at the Peterson AFB Chapel Friday evening. 

Master Sgt. Tammy Robel, 3rd Space Operations Squadron first sergeant, coordinated the first sergeants at both bases to make the combined dinner possible. 

"With the cancellation last week, this is the best thing to do," Sergeant Robel said. "This gives people the opportunity to network; it's less of a commute and at a more conducive hour for working spouses." 

"This is helpful for families to connect with other people in their neighborhoods," said Senior Master Sgt. Fred Davies, superintendent of the Schriever Airman and Family Readiness Center. "It's been a good connection opportunity for them." 

The 21st Space Wing's top enlisted Airman said he was glad to have Schriever's company. 

"We were excited to join with our partners from Schriever to serve our deployed family members," said 21st SW Command Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Omdal. "The team effort allows both bases to pull resources together and make sure our deployed family members' needs are met." 

In addition to the food and prizes that are normal fare for deployed family dinners at Peterson, spouses had the opportunity to record messages for their Airmen. One Space Innovation and Development Center NCO and her three children took advantage of the opportunity. 

"Your kids are doing really well," Staff Sgt. Laura Phillips said to a video camera set up in one of the chapel's classrooms. "As you can see, they're full of energy." Her husband, Senior Airman Edward Phillips, is deployed from the 310th Security Forces Squadron here. Airman Phillips has yet to meet his youngest son, 2-month-old Luke, in person. 

Their daughter, 3-year-old Natasha, described her plans to go ice skating Saturday. Sergeant Phillips described the family's trick-or-treating adventure at a local mall. 

"I'm going to send you pictures of the kids," she said. "They're really cute." 

In a conversation with Sergeant Davies, Sergeant Phillips said she appreciated the pillowcases she had received from the Schriever A&FRC. 

"The pillowcases we got done over there were just phenomenal," she said. "Both the children were carrying around photos (of their father) everywhere. When I got them the pillowcases, those were their new best friends." 

The Schriever A&FRC offers pillowcases, video messages and more for family members as a way of thanking them for their contributions to their Airmen's lives--and by extension, to the Air Force's mission. The support agency wasn't alone in expressing gratitude: the Peterson A&FRC, Base Exchange and commissary offered prizes. 

Col. John Hyten, 50th SW commander, also took a moment to express his gratitude to the Peterson community for inviting Schriever's families and to gathered family members for their role in supporting their deployed Airmen. The colonel recently returned from a deployment to Southwest Asia. 

"From the deployed Airmen's perspective, the deployment is going pretty fast--but from your perspective, it's probably not going so fast," Colonel Hyten said. "Thank you, and thanks to your spouses for what they're doing overseas."

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