The children in our military families deserve our respect, care, and encouragement. These children persevere through multiple re-locations and separations from their military family member. Very often the difficulties that many families face after their family member returns from deployment alters their family structure, an alteration involving much struggle and despair. The children in these families demonstrate a strong spirit, compassion for each other, and a patriotic heart that are integral parts of their lifestyles.
In “Take Time to Honor Military Kids’ Service”, Elaine Sanchez points out that the community and schools can support these children in a number of ways.
- Schools need to be more diligent in identifying the military children in their classrooms and providing staff development on nurturing to the needs of the children and their families.
- Child development centers, youth programs and parent support groups need to adopt programs that provide active cooperation and collaboration with the military families.
- Churches have a role in supporting new military families who move into their area as well as recognizing their struggle with isolation and separation from the deployed military service person.
The Department of Defense (DOD) recommends that members of the community who want to learn more about supporting the families of our military personnel should visit the White House’s Joining Forces website to learn more. This site offers suggestions for how groups or individuals can make a difference to the children and families of our military personnel.
In the spirit of Memorial Day, we should all consider these families and gratitude we owe them. This appreciation can be expressed by volunteering, sending thank-you notes, prepare care packages, or making ourselves available to their needs. Small gestures can make a big difference for many of these children and families.