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Kids get up-close look at parents' jobs

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- You'd never think 40 kids could have fun in a building without windows, but such was the case inside the Range Operations Control Center recently during the 1st Range Operations Squadron's family day. 

Members from about 20 different families of 1st ROPS Airmen converged at the ROCC for an afternoon of family fun, fellowship and learning. All of the family members enjoyed food and drinks; and the kids played games, decorated space shuttle cookies and made rockets out of candy, as well as painted a banner that saluted the men and women of the 1st ROPS. 

"This event connected family members with what their moms and dads do here - supporting our mission," said Lt. Col. Pete Sterns, 1st ROPS commander. 

His wife Rachel said, "Seeing the mission control room helps the spouses and the kids understand what's involved when mom or dad is working late launching a rocket. This was also a great way to get our extended Air Force family together. It was a huge treat that made us feel like part of the team." 

Patrick Lee, son of Kyle Lee, ROCC superintendent, gained a greater appreciation and knowledge of what his dad does at work. "The only thing I knew was that he worked in a building with no windows," he said. "This was a great chance to actually see where he works and what he does." 

After hanging the banner in one of the ROCC's conference rooms, the families went to watch the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour from a viewing site on Cape Canaveral AFS. "I've seen them from my house, but I've never seen one so close. It was cool," said Patrick. 

(Tech. Sgt. Mark Getsy, 45 SW/PA, provided information for this story)