FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., April 22, 2010 – Nearly 2 million American military children are growing up in a decade marked by war. Some 900,000 have parents who have deployed multiple times. These children endure frequent moves, multiple new schools and long separations from a parent who may be in harm’s way. They mark major milestones - graduations, prom nights and sports events - either alone or without one or both of their parents. What they endure would knock most well-functioning adults to their knees, according to a school psychologist at Fort Campbell, Ky. Story
“My Dad’s missed a lot of milestones, but I’m not going to blame. It’s something you just have to get used to, or you’ll probably be a blubbering mess.”
“It’s not easy, but I was brought up to keep going, no matter what,” he said. “I have to do it for my Mom. I’m really proud of her.”
“At first it was weird with (my father) being home every night and then just leaving and being gone for two or three months at a time.”
Chelsea Jarvis prefers to stay busy, rather than focus on her military father’s frequent absences. She’s hard-pressed to remember how many times her father has deployed, but guesses it’s more than 10.
Chelsea knows that her father’s job is dangerous, but rather than dwell on the negative, she instead chooses to stay busy. She’s a member of the volleyball team, manages the wrestling team and is heavily involved in academic clubs.
At age 16, Cornelius Madison already has moved five times, started five new schools and has dealt with the fact that both his parents have been deployed within three years.
But it’s not the separations or multiple first days at new schools that gets to him. It’s the string of best friends he has had to leave behind. “You go somewhere and meet that best friend and then you got to say, ‘I gotta go,’” he said. “But that’s part of military life.” Full Story
Unlike many of his peers who grew up in the military, Darien Crank was 12 when his father joined the Army. His family went from living in a one-bedroom apartment to a four-bedroom house on post here. But along with the improved standard of living, Darien also had to adapt to a lifestyle punctuated by his father’s frequent deployments.
Still, Darien said he’s glad for the dual perspective, noting it has made him all the more appreciative of what the Army has done for his family. Full Story
There are 1.7 million American children and youth under 18 with a parent serving in the military and about 900,000 with one or both parents deployed multiple times.
April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. The Month of the Military Child is an opportunity to recognize military children and youth for their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience.