Easter Bunny Visits Children of Deployed Parents

A1C Cameron Otte, 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The Easter Bunny made a stop at Travis Air Force Base April 11 to visit families of deployed service members.

The Easter Bunny prepares to give candy to children from military families with deployed parents, April 11, at Travis Air Force Base, California. The Easter Bunny hand-delivered 163 bags of candy to the children’s homes. U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cameron Otte

Jannet Rodriguez, a unit program coordinator for the 60th Security Forces Squadron at Travis AFB, organized the visit to deliver some cheer during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With all the gloom of being in quarantine and the lockdowns, I think it’s important to spread some joy,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted to allow the opportunity for children to have an Easter event and not feel left out. We were going to have a squadron event, but since they were unable to come to us we decided to come to them.”

The Easter Bunny went door-to-door to visit with Travis families and delivered 163 candy bags.

“We started by purchasing 800 eggs and all the decorations needed to pack them,” Rodriguez said. “Then, we coordinated with the volunteers to pack the eggs and make the bags. After we finished, we mapped all the houses that we were going to deliver to on Saturday.”

The volunteers also made Easter bags for deployed service members to receive upon their return.

“I have a child, so I can relate to the other spouses on base who feel they are missing out on this holiday,” Rodriguez said.

The families seemed to really enjoy the event and the unexpected visit from the Easter bunny.

“I think what they are doing is great,” said Ericka Hrkach, spouse of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jordan Hrkach, 60th SFS military working dog handler. “My kids were so excited to see the Easter Bunny for the first time. It made us happy and was a very special moment for our kids.”

Rodriguez said the event was a success because the Travis community came together.

“It feels so great getting involved with events like these,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes I go a little overboard and end up getting in over my head, and that’s why I’m so thankful to all the volunteers who helped support this with me. I think all the effort is worth it when you see a child’s face light up with excitement because nothing is more precious than a child’s smile.

“I think it’s great people are still willing to volunteer even with all the extra precautions people have to take because of the coronavirus.”

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