Children of deployed soldiers tend to have higher anxiety levels than the average; this anxiety tends to increase as the months of deployment increase. The absence of a parent is difficult for any child, especially when that parent is away fighting for his or her country. Military children often feel disconnected from their community because most of their peers do not understand what they are experiencing.
While the community cannot take away the feelings that these children experience, it can make their experience easier. Veterans Day on November 11th is a perfect day to start implementing ways to help these children cope with their difficult situation.
Volunteers are crucial in jump starting community programs and service acts geared toward children of servicemen. The community can honor more than just the veterans this holiday season, but also the children of these veterans. How will you do that, you may be asking yourself. Organizations such as HandsOn Network and National Military Family Association have wonderful resources to get you started or with locating a local service effort. The smallest acts of service can help brighten any child’s day!
- Support legislation that provides new opportunities for military youth
- Listen to their concerns
- Show your appreciation for their family’s service by getting involved in service efforts
- Tell them they are doing a great job supporting their family
- Display the parent’s service symbol in your classroom to show your support
- Celebrate the Month of the Military Child in April
- Spread the word about Operation Purple Camp, a one week camp that promotes the military child.
- Nominate kids to be recognized for their contributions to their community
- Create a military resource center in your community
- Celebrate military themed holidays
- Create a hero tree where local military members and their family can be honored by the community.
- Reach out to new military children in your community
You can help the military children in your community through small projects such as these. A small act of kindness can turn a dark day into a bright day. It is important to serve all those who contribute to the military.
If you know any children who you are honoring this holiday season or want to share your story we would love for you to tell it in the comment section of this page! Thank you for all of your support!