Families of deployed Airmen, IA Sailors enjoy Easter egg hunt

Children of deployed/remote Airmen and Individual Augmentee (IA) Sailors enjoy an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the 15th Medical Group on April 16 held on the tower lawn of the Hickam side of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The event included free food, bouncy castles, games, a duck pond and face painting. Photos by Drew Kadokawa

Children of deployed/remote Airmen and Individual Augmentee (IA) Sailors enjoy an Easter egg hunt sponsored by the 15th Medical Group on April 16 held on the tower lawn of the Hickam side of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The event included free food, bouncy castles, games, a duck pond and face painting. Photos by Drew Kadokawa

Don Robbins

Assistant Editor

Families of deployed/remote Airmen and individual augmentee (IA) Sailors flocked to the grassy Freedom Tower lawn at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on April 16. They enjoyed an Easter egg hunt set up for them, sponsored by the 15th Medical Group.

Erica Thomas, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Thomas, was one of many spouses attending the event with her children. Joseph is an IA Sailor in Afghanistan .

Thomas said she appreciated the opportunity to take their three sons, Benjamin, 6, Zachary, 4, and Andrew, 5 months, to the Easter egg hunt, especially since baby Andrew still has yet to meet his daddy. “This was a good time to get out in a smaller group of people with the same circumstances as my family,” Thomas said.

“The boys really enjoyed it. There was an egg hunt for age groups, and it was nice that all the kids got to participate. There was a baby crawl for the little ones,”

Thomas said. “We liked the little games they had positioned everywhere. I think that was very generous of them to do that for us.”

Members of the Barkley family also enjoyed the egg hunt. Kaye Barkley’s husband, Air Force Master Sgt. Floyd Barkley is on remote assignment to Osan Air Base in South Korea.

They have two children, daughter McKinley, 7, and son Rhys, 2, who attended the April 16 egg hunt with their mother. Barkley said the event was a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. “The kids enjoyed a fantastic bouncy castle and everyone was very accommodating,” Barkley remembered. “The games were great, totally age-appropriate, and the kids enjoyed the face painting.”

She recalled that her kids even made a little handprint postcard that they will be able to send to their dad. “It was just a very nice, well-organized event. That whole field was filled with eggs. They thought of everything,” she said. Even children whose families missed the start time of their egg hunt were provided an opportunity to get some eggs, she added.

Master Sgt. Wesley M. Matthews of PACAF 15th Medical Group, an organizer of the event, praised all of those who volunteered.

Matthews said they did a great job and he appreciates their support for the activities.

Matthews stated, “Everything was great. We had 2,483 donated eggs, 500 toys, 398 marshmallow packs and loose candy that we laid out to start the event. Believe it or not, people even brought more eggs which were added to the hunt. We used 50 rubber ducks for the crawler egg hunt and passed out 120 plus large toys for the games.”

Matthews said the day actually offered six separate egg hunts. The four main categories each had 300 eggs, 100 toys, 72 marshmallow packs and various items.

The catch-all hunt for anyone who missed out or needed a second chance included 1,380 eggs plus all the ones people kept bringing, Matthews said.

He said,”160 kids had pre-registered, but with our huge volunteer support and word of mouth, we had a lot more kids than that show up and they all should have gone home with something.”

According to Matthews, families attending the event were treated to goodies including 400 hot dogs, 200 bags of chips, cup cakes, cookies, cotton candy, popcorn, drinks and candy.

The event also featured a duck pond games and about 10 various games, balloon animals, face painting, tattoo stations and arts and crafts throughout the day.

Matthews gave a special thank you to Senior Airman Amie Jackson, Information Systems technician, who coordinated and rounded up all the volunteers.

Jackson said “the Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the 15th Medical Group, was our way of showing support and forever long commitment to the families of our fighting heroes.”

She added, “This event, organized by Master Sgt. Wesley Matthews and I, could not have been so well executed without all of the volunteers and the people who so willingly donated needed items to this great cause. Donations included 2,483 filled Easter eggs and 1,068 various toys.”

We hope to continue this event in years to come,” Jackson said.

Anya Moore, work and family life consultant for military and family Support services, volunteered at the event’s registration table. She said that she was impressed with the size of the turnout and the number of signups.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: News