By 1st Lt. Stacy Glaus
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Energized children, free food and up-beat music set the stage for the Family Festival co-hosted by the 21st Force Support Squadron and Team Peterson First Sergeants’ Council, Aug. 9 at Patriot Park.
Nearly 500 people participated in the festival, which included live entertainment by “The Side Men,” carnival activities and free dinner.
“An event like this is such a great opportunity to just relax, enjoy ourselves and get away from the office to talk to people you don’t necessarily see on a day to day basis,” said Maj. Tammy Schlichenmaier, 21st Force Support Squadron commander.
The festival was unique because it was held in conjunction with the monthly Deployed Families Dinner. The DFD brings together families who have members deployed for a free evening of food and fun.
“We have over 20 units on base with members deployed somewhere overseas and over the past year we have sent almost 600 Peterson members to deployed locations,” said Col. John Shaw, 21st Space Wing commander. “Those people deployed are heroes but so are their loved ones left behind that have to manage things while their family member is away.”
Between trips to the bungee trampoline or the rock climbing wall with their children, parents were able to visit with representatives from 18 different corporate and volunteer booths, which provide resources for military families. One of those booths was the Key Spouses club from Peterson Air Force Base.
“The Key Spouses work hard to help our deployed families feel welcome. We try to find out if there are any needs to be met and make sure they are being taken care of,” said Jennifer Calcote, 21st FSS key spouse. “We just try to show them that in this stressful time when their deployed member is away, that we are there for them and to show our support.”
Just before the rain poured down on the event, families also enjoyed free pizza and wings for dinner. To escape the rain, families moved inside for a free movie in the base auditorium.
“The Deployed Families Dinner is an opportunity to be there for the other spouses,” said Jenny Brooks, 13th Air Support Operations Squadron key spouse. “This event was awesome and free.”
For more information on the Deployed Families Dinner, contact your first sergeant.