Operation KIDS

Master Sgt. Victor DeLaRosa, an Operation KIDS volunteer, gives an initial safety briefing to a group of Operation KIDS deployees at Discovery Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kamaile Chan)

Master Sgt. Victor DeLaRosa, an Operation KIDS volunteer, gives an initial safety briefing to a group of Operation KIDS deployees at Discovery Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kamaile Chan)

Lance Cpl. William Pigott, an Operation KIDS volunteer assigned to Marine Corps Detachment Goodfellow, motivates Morgan Thrush as she navigates the obstacle course Saturday. The obstacle course was just one of the activities at Discovery Air Base, a mock tent city set up at Goodfellow’s Camp Sentinel exercise site. Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines all volunteered to help with the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kamaile Chan)

Lance Cpl. William Pigott, an Operation KIDS volunteer assigned to Marine Corps Detachment Goodfellow, motivates Morgan Thrush as she navigates the obstacle course Saturday. The obstacle course was just one of the activities at Discovery Air Base, a mock tent city set up at Goodfellow’s Camp Sentinel exercise site. Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines all volunteered to help with the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kamaile Chan)

As proud as any servicemember, a tired Connor Swallow returns home to thunderous applause and a line of Airmen waving flags. The bandages on his head are from the moulage activity at Discovery Air Base, where volunteers from the 17th Medical Group   applied mock injuries to the deployees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kamaile Chan)

As proud as any servicemember, a tired Connor Swallow returns home to thunderous applause and a line of Airmen waving flags. The bandages on his head are from the moulage activity at Discovery Air Base, where volunteers from the 17th Medical Group applied mock injuries to the deployees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kamaile Chan)

Operation KIDS deployees and their parents prepare to load into an inactive C-130 Hercules at the fire school, as they depart Camp Liberty for Discovery Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Malek)

Operation KIDS deployees and their parents prepare to load into an inactive C-130 Hercules at the fire school, as they depart Camp Liberty for Discovery Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Malek)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- On Saturday, the Vance Deployment Center was packed with a rough and ready crowd, prepared to deploy anywhere in the world. Clad in camoflague, they paid rapt attention as Col. Richard Ayres, 17th Training Wing commander, briefed them on their next move.

"We're going to take you out to a big C-130 and fly you to the other side of the world!" the commander said, all smiles as he addressed the 54 children participating in the second annual Operation KIDS event at Goodfellow.

From Vance, the kids left for Camp Liberty in the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academys high bay, where they were given pre-deployment training and had their faces painted.

They then boarded a C-130 at the fire school, were given a flight briefing and finally ended up at Discovery Air Base at Goodfellows Camp Sentinel exercise area.

At Discovery AB, the children were treated to a Marine Corps-led obstacle course, demonstrations by the Office of Special Investigations and the 17th Security Forces Squadron, lessons on local venomous wildlife and a moulage demonstration by the 17th Medical Group and much, much more.

"It was really fun," said nine-year-old Morgan Thrush, daughter of Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Stan Thrush. "It really helped me understand what my dad went through when he deployed."