When my daughter-in-law told me this, it broke my heart. She tries very hard not to cry in front of the baby because she knows he’s too little to understand how much mommies miss daddies too. She is also worried how they should handle yet another good-bye when my son has to return back to Iraq after R&R.
What is the right thing to do? Take him to the airport so he can give his Daddy one more hug? Leave him at home with Grandmom and Grandpop taking away one more precious Daddy and son moment?
One of the most moving photographs I have of them was taken the morning my son left to Iraq (last deployment) back in 2006. My daughter-in-law, holding the baby (then only 3 months old) sleeping peacefully, my son crisp in a brand new ACU, hair freshly cut, paratrooper fade, scarlet airborne beret in one hand and his other hand gently touching the baby’s head with a look on his face that still brings tears to my eyes today.
How do you explain the complexities of the world to a young child? Base after base, in every branch of the armed services, this same picture appears in the photo albums of all military families. It doesn’t matter the child’s age; every phase of childhood development presents a challenge to the military family.
Military children face many challenges, additionally increased stress related to deployments, less time spent with a parent or sometimes both and frequent moves.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the Sesame Street Program on military families. Below, you will find an annotated list of resources, each was examined and annotated (author’s notes and additions].
I would like to thank my fellow blogger “militaryhealth” (DoD, Military Health System Website) for the website I based this list on and dug in deeper for even more sources. These resources will give you tools and valuable information on what you can do to help your child overcome the unique challenges associated with military life. This post will be abbreviated(otherwise it would be way too long for the blog) and graphics reduced in size. You may view the complete/list plus my additions on my page in examiner.com (I am the Military Health Examiner, Miami) or on my blog (“military health matters, the blog”) or the “Families and Children” Page on Military Health Matters Resource Center.) Some of the descriptions have been taken from the US Department of Defense, Military Health System, “Kids Corner” Web page, some I have added/annotated, others I have abbreviated for the purpose of this post].
Kids.gov – An official U.S. government kids’ portal that provides resources to children and parents, and contains a variety of interesting and educational content for kids. Kids.gov links to over 1,200 web pages from government agencies, schools, and educational organizations.
CIA’s Parents & Teachers Page – This section gives you additional resources, lesson plans, and discussion points for you and your children/students to learn more about the CIA and its history of intelligence. [There are other CIA pages for Grades: K-5th and Grades 6th – 12th).]
FBI Working Dogs – The FBI has some very special working dogs. Power is the newest addition to the group of Working Dogs at FBI Headquarters. His job as a Chemical Explosives Dog is to sniff out bombs, explosion debris, firearms, and ammunition. Other FBI Working Dogs find drugs, money, and people. Just how do they do it? There are additional pages, Grades K-5 and Grades 6-12.
Special Needs – Military Homefront – Resources for special needs children from military families — newsletter subscription, mentoring groups, Webinars, resources, checklists, advocates, support programs and more.
Veterans History Project – (Library of Congress) – The Veterans History Project relies on volunteers to collect and preserve stories of wartime service. You can browse the first-hand accounts from veterans of some of the wars America fought in. (Also has Youth Resources Pages).
MTOM – MTOM for Kids provides information to help children successfully make the transition when their family moves. The site covers saying goodbye, how to move and being a kid. Sections are divided for younger children and teens.
Wacky Grownups! A great section for kids to understand how grown-ups feel during their loved ones deployment.
VA Kids – VA Kids offers a variety of games, resources, scholarship information and links for students in grades K through fifth and sixth through twelfth. Information is also provided for teachers, grades K-5, 6-12.
American Academy of Pediatrics – The American Academy of Pediatrics Military Youth Deployment Support Web site has been designed to support military youth, families, and the youth serving professionals caring for this population.
Our Military Kids – Provides support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve service members. The site provides activities and tutoring that nurture and sustain children while their parents serve.
National Military Family Association – The NMFA educates military families about their rights, benefits and services available to them, and provides information regarding the issues that affect their lives. Excellent, information for all age children, teens, and spouses.
- Operation Military Kids – Operation Military Kids is the U.S. Army’s collaborative effort with America’s communities to support children and youth impacted by deployment.
- Excellent, with podcasts and YouTube presentations.
- Military Child – Military Child Education Coalition is a non-profit organization that identifies and addresses the challenges facing the highly mobile military child.
Excellent resource: Publications : SchoolQuest; Military Parent Information; Child and Student Programs; Education, Training, and Resources; Coalition Partnerships; Blogs
Connect For Kids – Connect for Kids gives its Web site visitors the information and tools they need to learn about issues affecting children, families, and communities.
Transforming Kids’ Lives Through Free Arts Programs: Founded in 2001, ARTS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization driven by people who believe in the power of the arts to heal, inspire and empower **check this site, has a form for children to communicate with their deployed fathers.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – SAMHSA focuses on building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders.
Zero to Three – Zero to Three informs, trains and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. ZERO TO THREE Fact Sheet >Alerts of new content in the Zero to Three Journal
Military K-12 Partners – References and information for K-12 military education partners. Be sure to check out References & Guides and provides additional excellent resources! Military Life & Culture (2nd set of resources on page), includes studies and reports, legislative information, and a section on Grants & Funding.
Karen- Proud Army Airborne Mom!!
All children are precious, military children are precious angels.
I came across this resource and thought you might want to share it with your son/daughter/family member..
Walt Disney World has just introduced a special Armed Forces Salute Ticket for 2009. Each qualifying Military Service member* will receive a complimentary 5-Day “Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Ticket” with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More Options included. To receive the FREE ticket, visit any theme park Guest Relations window and show proper ID.
In addition to the free Armed Forces Salute Ticket, up to 5 of their guests can purchase for $99 a Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Companion (5 Day Base) ticket. Park Hopper or Water Park Fun & More option are available for $25 each (which is 50% off the normal price).
Companion tickets may be upgraded to Premium, Annual or Seasonal Passes. Seasonal Pass upgrade requires proof of Florida Residency.
Companion tickets may not be upgraded by adding the no expiration option, and you cannot add additional days to the passes.
Companion tickets may be purchased at any Disney World ticket window or guest services. You may also purchase tickets at Shades of Green, located at Walt Disney World or on your base (these two options are tax-free). If you purchase the tickets at Shades of Green or on base, you will receive a voucher that you will trade in once you arrive at a Walt Disney World ticket window.
Armed Forces Salute tickets will expire on 12/23/09 and have no block-out dates. Tickets may be upgraded anytime between January 4th -December 23, 2009 as long as there is usage left on the ticket.
The entire party needs to be present for purchase (Spouse or military dependents can receive the companion discount without the military service member being present as long as they have their military ID).
The military service member will need to show ID; Cast Member will ask for their Base’s name, and the State where the base is listed.
This offer is only available once per service member.
*This offer is available to anyone on active duty in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserve, and retired military. Activated members of the National Guard and Reservists must present active duty orders in addition to valid military ID. You must have been active for any length of time between 1/1/08 and 12/23/09. Dept of Defense (CIA, FBI, Secret Service) and Coalition Forces are excluded
Hat/tip to Mamaw – who sent me this. This just makes me so ANGRY! PZ readers – let’s get on this – we did a great job with PFC Levine – Soldier’s Angels is one of the best groups/supporters of the military that I know. I’m a very proud Angel myself, as is Mamaw, Tech Mama, SemperFiWife, Some Soldier’s Mom and so many other friends. (click on the title of the post to open)
Blankets of Hope for the troops stolen: Please help!
Photo via Soldier’s Angels Germany
After her son died fighting country, Linda Ferrara wanted to do something for soldiers like him who sacrifice their safety for others.So in the year since Army Capt. Matthew Ferrara was killed in Afghanistan, his mother has dedicated hours collecting clothes and crafting handmade blankets for wounded soldiers overseas. The Torrance resident had planned to ship the goods Wednesday to an Army hospital in Germany. Instead, she’s despondent over the weekend theft of hundreds of socks, sweat shirts, pajama pants, boxers, blankets and other items. “I don’t want to let them down,” Ferrara said. “This wasn’t just stuff, this was going to wounded soldiers.”…Soldiers’ Angels is an organization through which people can send care packages to soldiers overseas. In Germany, Phillips supports wounded and sick troops undergoing treatment at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.Many of them are transferred there directly from the front lines and have nothing more than the clothes on their backs, Ferrara said.Already involved with the West Point Parents Club of Orange County, Ferrara recruited support from other parents and volunteers to collect items for the wounded soldiers.Her RV was packed with boxes, and the Parents Club had printed thank-you letters to the “wounded warriors” to be distributed with the clothes.. On Sunday morning, Ferrara first realized something was amiss when she found empty boxes outside the RV and her inventory lists on the ground. Inside, she discovered almost all the collected items missing. Also, some of the letters were torn to shreds.Compton sheriff’s deputies took a report and fingerprints, she said.Her insurance company has told her not to expect help. Because she planned to give the items away, they technically didn’t belong to her and aren’t covered by her policy.
Anyone who is interested in donating items for wounded soldiers can email Linda Ferrara at or visit the West Point Parent Club of Orange County web site.Ferrara says the organization can accept cash donations or brand new items because the Military hospital does not allow used goods.
To make the holidays merrier for members of the military, Sam’s Club is hosting open houses for them — including both retired and active service members. Military personnel can shop and save on their holiday meals and gifts at Sam’s Clubs WITHOUT A MEMBERSHIP and they will waive the 10% non-member service fee at checkout! The Military Open Houses will be held December 1 and Dec. 15 (there was another on Nov. 17) Sam’s Club has 598 locations nationwide. This offer valid during regular club hours. More information at www.samclub.com