Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

November 16, 2009 at 11:10am

Military children are a strong bunch

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On Friday, I had the pleasure of attending a military family support summit at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The summit provided a great forum for educators, community leaders and private agencies to get together and collaborate on ideas and resources to support military families.

The morning panel featured a group of military teens who passed the microphone down the line answering a slew of questions designed to tap into subjects such as what it's like to be a military child, challenges each face when they change schools, how school administrators can better help incoming students and how each deal with their emotions when a parent is deployed.

Although some of the teens clearly weren't used to speaking in large groups(especially growing up in the age of MySpace and Facebook), I was impressed with how each one responded to the different questions.

When asked how she coped with her father's deployment, one teen responded, "I don't see it as coping — I see it as a part of my life and a part of our family."

Another teen said that while her and her older siblings were able to connect with their father on his deployment through letters and e-mails, she said her youngest sister (around age 5) was able to connect better with where her dad was and what he was doing through a gift from the country he sent her.

The panel was also emotional, as another teen said that one the most effective things a teacher can do to see how they are doing during a deployment is to listen.

"It can make our day," he said.

Another girl chimed in: "A hug can go a long way."

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