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C-17 Show and Tell

McChord Airmen and their families board a static C-17 Globemaster III as part of the Military Child festivities on April 25.

McChord Airmen and their families board a static C-17 Globemaster III as part of the Military Child festivities on April 25.

Breanna Warren, 2, waits patiently to be secured to her seat while her older sister Olivia, 5, performs a mockre-flight inspection of the safety belt.

Breanna Warren, 2, waits patiently to be secured to her seat while her older sister Olivia, 5, performs a mockre-flight inspection of the safety belt.

Staff Sgt. Jeff Patterson, a loadmaster with the 8th Airlift Squadron, adjusts the volume on his headset for five-year-old Iris Noquez.

Staff Sgt. Jeff Patterson, a loadmaster with the 8th Airlift Squadron, adjusts the volume on his headset for five-year-old Iris Noquez.

Jeremiah Lani, 2, sits in the pilot’s seat and listens as 1st Lt. Zachary Dorman, 10th Airlift Squadron, explains the flight deck controls.

Jeremiah Lani, 2, sits in the pilot’s seat and listens as 1st Lt. Zachary Dorman, 10th Airlift Squadron, explains the flight deck controls.

A group of McChord families head for a waiting bus following their tour of the aircraft.

A group of McChord families head for a waiting bus following their tour of the aircraft.

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- McChord Airmen and their families celebrate Month of the Military Child with a C-17 Globemaster III tour

One of McChord's many C-17 Globemaster IIIs took a break April 25 from the rough-and-tumble life of delivering global airlift to fulfill a more soft and cuddly duty: serving as a static show and tell piece for more than 250 Airmen and their children. 

As part of Month of the Military Child festivities, Airmen and their children got a chance to experience the inside of a C-17, from sitting in the loadmaster's pilot's seat to running down the cargo ramp. 

For five hours, two busses per hour shuttled groups from the Escape Zone and the Child Development Center to the flightline, where Airmen got the opportunity to explain to their children just how the giant airplane ties into what they do every day. 

"It puts things into perspective about what dad does on a daily basis," said Staff Sgt. Jeff Patterson, a loadmaster with the 8th Airlift Squadron. 

In between posing for pictures with children seated in the loadmaster seat, Sergeant Patterson showed each one the different buttons to turn on and off the interior lights and how to work the cargo bay microphone. 

Sergeant Patterson, who showed his own five-year-old daughter around the aircraft in between talking to other children about what a loadmaster does, said he cherishes the chance to talk to children about the mission. 

"I really enjoy it," he said. "It's great seeing a smile on their faces." 

While some children enjoyed strapping themselves into the seats in the cargo bay, others opted for more active pleasures. 

"She liked running up and down the loading ramp," said Staff Sgt. Stephen Trevino, 62nd Communications Squadron, of his two-year-old daughter Evelyn. 

For Capt. Dimitri Martini, 62nd Comptroller Squadron, the day was a chance to show his daughters Annelise, 2, and Tatiana, 4, the inside of a C-17 for the first time. 

"They always see the jets flying around in the pattern when we're driving up and down the highway," Captain Martini said. "Mom is always pointing out that those are the jets from where daddy works, so they were really excited to get out and check it out." 

Children also got to go up into the cockpit and check out the aircraft's controls and see the bunks as part of the experience. 

"This is what I really like about the Air Force ... that there are so many events like this that go on that you get a chance to bring your family in," said Captain Martini, who said his family's next step is perhaps flying a space available flight so his girls can experience flying in a C-17. "It's a standard that the Air Force has in that we open it up to our families and this is one of those events that you can take advantage of."