By Terry Orr
April is the month of the Military Child. This special celebration is a legacy of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and was established to underscore the important role children play in the Armed Forces community. According to Military K-12 Partners, today there are more than 1.2 million military children, and since 2001 approximately 2 million children have experienced deployment of a parent. Care of military children sustains our fighting force, and strengthens the health, security, and safety of our nation's families and communities. (Source: NCTSN)
Civilian child vs. Military Child by Auntie Witch:
- A civilian child usually dances around or talks during the National Anthem. A military child stands quietly with his hand over his heart.
- A civilian child sees race. A military child sees diversity.
- A civilian child has a best friend in his hometown. A military child has a best friend on almost every continent.
- A civilian child sees only the plane flying over. A military child not only can identify the type of plane flying but knows someone who works on them.
- A civilian child smells something nasty and yells; "Eeewwww, what's that smell?". A military child smells something nasty and yells; Daddy did you FART!!!!!
- A civilian child sees a person in uniform. A military child can tell you what branch he's in and what his rank is.
- A civilian child thinks home is where the heart is. A military child knows home is where the military sends you.
- A civilian child lives for tomorrow and what it might bring. A military child lives for today because tomorrow, Daddy might get called away again.
- A civilian child gets to kiss mommy and daddy goodnight each night. A military child sometimes has to kiss a picture of daddy or mommy goodnight.
- A civilian child talks on the phone for fun. A military child lives for the 15 minute phone calls once a week.
- A civilian child can read and write in English. A military child can read and write in acronym.
- A civilian child says "good-bye". A military child says "see you later" (don't we know it, there's never GOOD BYE).
- A civilian child gets to see things other kids would love to see. A military child gets to see things world leaders would love to see.
- A civilian child will probably go to the same school his entire life. A military child will probably change schools every 2 years.
- A civilian child might rarely leave his hometown for anything other than vacation. A military child will rarely see his "hometown" for anything other than vacation.
And finally...a civilian child supports our soldiers. A military child IS a soldier.
The next time you say a prayer for our troops, please say a prayer for their families, especially their children back home that are trying to be strong. (They need your prayers, more than you'll ever know)
Military children are our nation's children. Living in either military or civilian communities, in urban, suburban, or rural settings, military children experience unique challenges related to military life and culture. These include deployment-related stressors such as parental separation, family reunification, and reintegration. Due to frequent moves, many military children experience disrupted relationships with friends, and must adapt to new schools and cultivate new community resources. Some children also experience the trauma of welcoming home a parent who returns with a combat injury or illness, or of facing a parent's death. (Source: NCTSN)
The Military Child, like their parents face additional challenges in life – next time you see them – please be supportive and let them know you are thankful for all they do for you and America.
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