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Operation: Military Kids Supporting Military Youth who are experiencing the deployment of a love one….. Darrin Allen. Operation: Military Kids. A collaborative effort with America’s communities to support “suddenly military kids” impacted by the Overseas Contingency Operations

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Operation: Military Kids

Supporting Military Youth who are experiencing the deployment of a love one…..

Darrin Allen

Operation: Military Kids

  • A collaborative effort with America’s communities to support “suddenly military kids” impacted by the Overseas Contingency Operations

    • OMK State Teams operate in 49 States and the District of Columbia

    • Networks of people, organizations, and

    • other resources support “military families

    • in our own backyard”

    • Core Program Elements include:

      • Ready, Set, Go! Training for OMK State Teams

      • Mobile Technology Labs

      • Hero Packs

      • Speak Out for Military Kids


Goals and Objectives of

Operation: Military Kids

OMK GOAL: Support the children and youth of those who

serve in the National Guard and Reserve


• Raise community awareness of “suddenly military” kids

• Build community capacity to deliver outreach services

• Implement outreach support services


• U.S. Army Children, Youth & School Services (Active and Reserve Components)

• National 4-H Headquarters at USDA

• Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA)

• Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) / State Departments of Education

• The American Legion Family

• National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)


Military Installation

CYS Staff

Regional & Local

Boys & Girls Club


OMK State Team*

County/State 4-H



School Personnel

Representatives from

Army Community Based


National Guard and

Air Reserve

Component Staff

The American

Legion Family

OMK State Team

*4-H State Military Liaisons serve as OMK State Team Leaders

OMK State Team

OMK Roles and Responsibilities:

• Create Statewide OMK Community Support Networks

• Provide OMK Ready, Set, Go! Course to State OMK


• Coordinate delivery of “Speak Out for Military Kids”

OMK Speakers Bureau

• Deliver youth outreach service programs through Partner


• Coordinate Partner use of the OMK Mobile Technology


• Submit monthly OMK and year-end accomplishment reports to OMK Management Team

OMK Resources Available to Partners

Ready, Set, Go! Training Manual

Speak Out for Military Kids Manual

-Deployment Its Not a Game

Hero Packs

Mobile Technology Labs

Operation: Boots On – Operation: Boots Off

Operation Give A Hug Dolls

Yellow Ribbon Youth Activity Guides

Operation: Military Kids

  • Ready, Set, Go!Manual and Training

  • Designed to develop State and local support networks of:

    • Youth workers

    • Educators

    • Counselors

    • Community service agencies

  • RSG! Manual has information on:

    • Military Culture

    • The Deployment Cycle

    • Fostering resilience in kids

    • Influencing the media

    • Building community capacity

  • Funded by OMK State Grants

  • Conducted 371 RSG! Trainings

  • Trained 10,909 community

  • members

Operation: Military Kids

Speak Out For Military Kids

  • SOMK is a youth – led, adult supported project that generates community awareness of issues and

  • concerns faced by military children

  • and youth

  • SOMK Initiatives:

    • Youth Speakers’ Bureau

    • Public Service Announcements developed by SOMK participants

    • Video productions of “suddenly” military youth telling their stories

    • Interactive Theater productions

  • Trained 871 Youth

  • 360 presentations attended by 73,236 people

Operation: Military Kids

A board game created by the Iowa Speak Out for Military Kids generates awareness of the rollercoaster of emotions and family life situations as game players roll the dice and move from mobilization to homecoming.

Operation: Military Kids

  • Hero Packs

  • Hero Packs are a tangible expression of support for military families from their communities – especially young people and OMK Partners

  • Contents designed to keep youth connected to deployed parents

    • Stationary and envelopes

    • Pen and pencil

    • Disposable cameras

    • Journals

  • Handwritten letters to recipients from

  • non-military youth

  • Parent information which helps families get connected to local resources available to their child

Presented 20,561 Hero Packs to Military Youth

Operation: Military Kids

Mobile Technology Labs

  • Mobile Tech Labs include: laptop computers configured for the internet; digital video camera; scanner and software packagessuch as video/photo editing and webpage design.

  • Mobile Tech Labs allow military kids to

    • Communicate with deployed


    • Send special info, e.g., report

      cards, sports, birthday celebration

    • Design keepsakes, e.g., scrapbooks

      for/about parents

  • Mobile Tech Labs allow military parents to

    • Communicate with children

    • Tape stories and messages to

      leave behind for children

  • Conducted 464 MTL Events

  • 36,795 Military Youth Participated

Operation: Military Kids

  • Purpose: Provide a tool to teach the deployment cycle to military and non-military kids

  • The Goals of Operation: Boots On are:

  • Assist participants in understanding the mission and work of the military

  • Depict the stages of the deployment cycle and other topics important to Military Families

  • Highlight some of the issues and concerns Families experience during the deployment cycle

Operation: Military Kids

  • Operation: Boots Off provides staff a tool to help military kids and Families prepare for the reunion and reintegration phase of deployment

  • Operation: Boots Offwill help Military Kids:

  • Understand the process of their individual Families’ Service Member homecoming

  • Develop skills for homecoming and beyond

  • Learn how to make the homecoming positive for themselves and their Families

  • Share with others who have

  • similar experiences

Operation: Military Kids

Supports Our Youngest Heroes!

Dolls have a clear plastic face pocket for children to put a picture of their deployed Soldier Parent

  • Allow children to “talk and play” with their deployed Parent to express feelings they are experiencing

  • Connect children with deployed Parents – “What did we do together today”?

  • Distributed through Operation: Military Kids State Teams and Operation Give a Hug

Operation: Military Kids

Deployment Cycle Support

Yellow Ribbon Youth Outreach

  • Youth Activity Guides include 60 fun, quality, experiential learning experiences

  • Linked to four phases of the Deployment Cycle: Pre-Deployment, During Mobilization, 30 & 60 Days After Reunion

  • Activities keyed to grade appropriate Life Skill Development

  • Training Guide to equip Volunteers for implementing Youth Activities

  • Available from OMK State Teams (www.operationmilitarykids.org) Fall 09

  • Outreach Activity Guides for Youth (grades K-12) from all Service Branches

  • Multiple Toolkits of durable equipment to support activities

  • Supports the Joint Family Support Assistance Program

Operation: Military Kids

  • www.operationmilitarykids.org

  • Localized information for each state

    • Calendar of Events

    • Programs

    • Tell Me Your Story

    • Contacts

Next Step:

Contact your State’s Operation: Military Kids Project Director to join the OMK State Team

For More Information go to: