Operation Hero Helps Kids

Operation Heros is an annual event at Keesler Air Force Base. It's an opportunity for children of Kessler to see what it is that their parents actually might be doing while deployed.

"We've been painting our faces, and getting fingerprints, and we've done lots of stuff today. I even got to go through an obstacle course, and I got my I.D. card that I made," says Katherine Sanders.

"I visited the dogs. I got a briefing. I got my dog tags,"says Connor Sanders.

Katherine and Connor Sanders had the chance to walk in their dads' shoes on Saturday.

As part of Operation Hero...the siblings were able to carry out duties their daddy might be assigned to, should he be deployed again overseas.

"I think it's important for my children to understand that they're part of a very special environment and very important community, and for them to get a better understanding of why their dad has to go away," says their mother, Shannon Sanders.

Katherine proved through the ambulance megaphone she could make a good drill sergeant, but she and her brother also took time out to check out what can go on in the back of an ambulance.

"They learned about medical things that happen when you're out in the field, and how they put someone on a gurney and load them in an ambulance, emergency situation," says Shannon Sanders.

"We want the families to better understand what we do as the military members, so as we get ready to deploy, the children have a better understanding of what mom and dad have to do, the processes, the organization, up to the point of saying goodbye to their loved ones," says Technical Sergeant Anthony.

The purpose of Operation Hero is to help kids better understand their parents' deployment, but this might just be training ground for the next generation of airmen and women who are hoping to follow in their parents' footsteps.