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America Supports You: Group Helps Deployed GIs' Children

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2006 – More than 115,000 kids have at least one parent deployed in the war on terrorism, and that doesn't include those children affected by routine deployments, according to an organization that supports military children.

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Eric Salazar, 11, of California, receives a grant check from representatives of "Salute Our Services," which provides grants to children of deployed servicemembers to continue extracurricular activities. Salazar used his grant to play baseball. Courtesy photo
  

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"War takes its toll on the servicemembers who fight in the field and on the families who wait and worry at home," according to a news release from "Salute Our Services." "In the course of their parents' service to our nation, these children also make many sacrifices."

Missed birthdays, holidays and special events top that list of sacrifices, the release said. Fear, worry and loneliness also affect children whose parents are deployed.

Salute Our Services supports servicemembers in every branch of service and their families with financial grants. The goal of the grants is to keep children of deployed servicemembers engaged in the activities they enjoy, according to the release.

"We received a grant check in the mail today," military spouse Michelle West said in a thank-you note to the group. "My children are very excited and are planning to start their extracurricular activities next week."

Salute Our Services also hosts event around the country for the kids as well as sending them letters of thanks.

The organization has offered its services to the children of deployed servicemembers for the past five years, the release noted. "We have assisted families in 45 states around the nation asking for help with their children, while they face new challenges, especially those related to the deployment of one or both parents," the release stated.

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Related Sites:
America Supports You
Salute Our Services

Click photo for screen-resolution imageTamaira (right) and Imani Lewis, from Tennessee, received grants from "Salute Our Services," which provides grants to children of deployed servicemembers to continue extracurricular activities. The sisters, ages 10 and 7, received grants to cover the costs of playing soccer. Courtesy photo  
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