Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

December 2, 2016 at 7:12am

Team McChord hosts Hearts Apart dinner

Senior Master Sgt. Jess Houk (left), 62nd Comptroller Squadron superintendent, serves food to airmen and their families during the Hearts Apart dinner Nov. 17 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

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The McChord Field chapel staff, the 62nd Comptroller Squadron and Team McChord Leadership hosted a Hearts Apart dinner Nov. 17 at the McChord Chapel located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The dinner was hosted for airmen and their families who are recently, currently or soon to be deployed or assigned to a temporary duty assignment.

Different from previous deployed spouse's dinners, the Hearts Apart dinner was the first of its kind on McChord.

"Why this was called Hearts Apart instead of deployed family dinner was to open it up to encompass all of the airmen and the families that have gone TDY and on short deployments throughout the year," said 1st Lt. Elizabeth Keenan, 62nd Comptroller Squadron financial analysis flight commander and Hearts Apart dinner coordinator. "We want this to be all inclusive."

The dinner was attended by more than 50 airmen and their families who were provided a catered meal by.

"This was less formal than other events and was really just about enjoying your family," said Keenan. "It was as simple as families not having to worry about cooking dinner and spending some extra time with their loved ones."

The dinner kicked off with participants ordering a meal from leadership, who in return delivered meals to their table.

"I've been here ten years and I've never had the opportunity to come to one of these," said Charlene Ybarra, spouse of Tech. Sgt. Brandon Ybarra, 4th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. "This makes me really feel loved and appreciated."

Tailoring to children of different ages, there were a number of games for children to participate in. Games included spin art and other carnival games. Children were also given free cotton candy and popcorn.

"I thought this was great. The kids had a blast," said Ybarra. "There was a lot of activities for them to do and it was nice that they could do it all together."

In addition to games for children, parents were entered into a raffle for a variety of gift packages.

"People really liked the raffle prizes and everyone really enjoyed themselves," said Keenan. "This is really important to show that we care about family members and we know what a big part they play."   

For more information on McChord Field Chapel sponsored events, contact the chapel at 253.982.5556.

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