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SMC hosts Haunted Halloween event for Kirtland Elementary

Kirtland Elementary School students and teachers listen to a briefing from members of the Space and Missiles Systems Center (SMC) on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

Kirtland Elementary School students and teachers listen to a briefing from members of the Space and Missiles Systems Center (SMC) on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

A Kirtland Elementary School student hugs a costumed dinosaur after receiving candy during a trick-or-treat event on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

A Kirtland Elementary School student hugs a costumed dinosaur after receiving candy during a trick-or-treat event on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

A Kirtland Elementary School student poses for a photo during a trick-or-treat event on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

A Kirtland Elementary School student poses for a photo during a trick-or-treat event on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

A group of Kirtland Elementary School students pose for a photo during a trick-or-treat event on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

A group of Kirtland Elementary School students pose for a photo during a trick-or-treat event on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019. Each year, SMC invites the school to their Haunted Halloween event in which the entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to costumed visitors.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Kirtland Elementary School students and teachers took a trip to the Space and Missiles Systems Center (SMC) this Halloween for a day of trick-or-treating on Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 31, 2019.

“Today was an opportunity for us to open up our doors to the elementary school kids and let them get a break from education,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Charles Galbreath, Advanced Systems and Development Directorate deputy director.  “We had all of our divisions decorate their hallways and we had a blast.”

Each year, SMC invites the students and teachers to participate in their Haunted Halloween event. The entire building is filled with spooky decorations and hundreds of pounds of candy are passed out to the costumed visitors.

“This event takes them away from their everyday reality,” said Rayetta Baty, Kirtland Elementary principal.  “I think this helps them see that you can have fun while still being safe.  I just want them to be kids while they can be kids.”

Each student, as well as members of SMC, dressed up in their best Halloween costumes. The classes broke up into small groups and toured the building to see all of the different decorations.

“We want to make sure they get a positive impression of what the Air Force is like,” said Galbreath.  “We want them to know that we’re more than just a military organization; we like to have fun and celebrate holidays just like they do.”

Although this event is just for fun, SMC also partners with the school throughout the year. They organize annual supply, coat and shoe drives to donate directly to the school.

“The elementary school has a lot of underprivileged kids and some are actually homeless,” said Galbreath.  “Anything we can do to ease the burden for these kids and show them a good time as well as help the school out with supplies is a wonderful opportunity.”