One Little Objective One Big Objective To build support for Military Kids! To build support for Military Kids!
State Team Mission To raise awareness and address the issues facing military kids, develop local community capacity for support, and create sensitivity for the betterment of our military families.
Your Operation: Military Kids Coordinator • Enlisted 2001-Present in the Oklahoma Army/Air National Guard.
What is Operation: Military Kids (OMK)? A Collaborative Effort with America’s Communities to Support Military Kids Impacted by Deployment.
OMK—Goal • Build local community support for military kids affected by deployment. • Raise awareness of the affects that frequent and extended deployment have on youth.
Goals and Objectives of Operation: Military Kids OMK GOAL: Support the military children and youth who have been or are being affected by deployment. OMK OBJECTIVES: • Raise community awareness for military kids. • Build local community support networks to deliver outreach services. • Implement outreach support services.
Operation: Military Kids Core Program Components Four Core Elements
Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK) The Program: • Common program initiative for all OMK States • Program raises community awareness of issues faced by geographically dispersed military children and youth • SOMK is a youth-led program facilitated and supported by adults • Youth participants are both civilian and military connected youth • SOMK is a community service project that builds awareness and fosters community support
Speak Out for Military Kids Outcomes: Participants create a Speakers Bureau and presentations, then deliver informative briefings to a variety of audiences throughout the state. Youth gain knowledge and skills in developing creative and informative presentations in a variety of different media. Youth learn how to capture, write and present their stories in a professional manner.
Hero Pack Project • • Outreach effort of Operation: Military Kids (OMK) • • Salute to military children for their strength and sacrifices made while a parent is deployed • • Combined effort of all National OMK Partners • • Community Service Project that builds awareness and fosters community support for geographically isolated military families • Connect military youth with local support programs (B&GCA Program, 4-H Clubs, etc.)
Hero Pack Implementation • Youth assemble Hero Packs and write letters of support to the families to include in the backpack. • OMK State Teams find local donations to supplement Hero Pack items provided by National OMK Partners. • Hero Packs are distributed to deserving Military Children impacted by deployment
Mobile Technology Labs • Foster connectivity with child and deployed parent. Also a creative learning tool to keep military children's mind off of deployment. • 10 Dell Laptop Computers • 4 Cannon Printers • 4 Digital Cameras • 2 Video Cameras
Curriculum designed to raise awareness of issues military children face Develop understanding of the deployment cycle Introduce Operation: Military Kids State OMK Team Members Trained to present RSG! Ready, Set, Go Training
We are proud of our parents! We think about war and we know what it means! We move. A Lot. We take on a lot of responsibility. Facts, Opinions or Reality? We live in your community! We miss our parents. We appreciate recognition of our family’s service. In a lot of ways we’re just like other teens. We Serve too! “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” –Dr. Seuss
Deployment and the Community Blanket Activity
The Emotional Cycle of Deployment • Each stage characterized by a timeframe and specific emotional challenges • Failure to adequately negotiate can lead to significant strife • Promoting understanding of deployment helps avert crisis and need for intervention/mental health counseling • Five distinct stages— — Stage One: Pre-deployment — Stage Two: Deployment — Stage Three: Sustainment — Stage Four: Re-deployment — Stage Five: Post-deployment
Tribute to Military Kids Speak Out Military Kids Military Kids share their thoughts on being a "Military Kid" Resiliency Army Strong Families Motivating Clips
When the family is stressed, the child is affected When a child is stressed, it affects the family. Good intentions are not enough. Education and understanding is key. Deployment
Strengths for Youth Resulting from Deployment • Fosters maturity • Growth inducing • Encourages independence • Encourages flexibility, adaptability • Builds skills for adjusting to separation and losses faced later in life • Strengthens family bonds • Civics—relationship with community • What other strengths may result from deployment?
The Price of Peace Gaddis Sisters "To share often and much . . . . To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson "Random Acts of Kindness, 1994"
Questions? “ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL , WE CAN GIVE A LITTLE” Molly James, widow of Second Lieutenant Luke S. James, bows during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery, Tuesday, February 10, 2004.