Monday, December 27, 2010


How far back can you remember?  Think about that for a minute and conjure up a memory of your age at the time.  Where you 2, maybe 3 or perhaps even a little bit older?

My memory banks take me back to an age around 4 years old.  I can recall some wallpaper in our house in Goldfield, Iowa with cowboys and horses and ropes, a real good Western theme.  There's not a whole lot more I remember about the house or life in the town while we lived there.  I can remember some of the people, but mostly because my folks kept in contact with some of them.  We moved to the big city of Clarion just before I started kindergarten.

So again, I ask you.  How far can you go back in your memory?  Was it some traumatic experience that you recall, some miracle happening or just a run of the mill remembrance?  Isn't it amazing how our minds work?  Some things seem like they happened yesterday and others are completely wiped from our thoughts.  What's up with that?

Anyway, the reason I bring this subject up is that I think alot about how children are affected by the deployment of our 3,500 troops.  I think of the army husband who watched his wife deploy and who is left with three teenage daughters to raise.  Gosh, that must be difficult, trying to be a mother and a father at the same time and having to deal with his children's emotions and everyday struggles.  I think of the father who has gone and left a young son in the care of his mother...knowing that he missed some important part of his youngsters growing years.  I wonder how these children channel their emotions and feelings knowing they have a big security blanket gone.

Memories That Last A Lifetime
I attended a seminar this past summer that spoke to the resources available for families and educators.  I was amazed to find out, that the military can't  let the school systems know who deploys from their communities.  I guess it makes sense, but I was still surprised.  So, in many cases, children go undetected within their schools....and guidance counselors often time find out when a student's grades suffer or they become a behavioral problem.  I do know in one case where the parent went and met with the guidance counselor up front to let them know a deployment would be happening in their family. Kudos to them for taking the initiative to think ahead.

It's not that parents are unconcerned about the wealfare of their children.  Most are not even thinking that far down the road until issues begin to appear.  If you know of someone that is struggling with family concerns, let them know that help is available.  There is a DVD titled, "Military Youth Coping with Seperation...When Family Members Deploy"  It's a great help in walking through recipes of help.  You can find this and other resources at the Military Youth Deployment Support Website.

Most of all, remember the memories you help make during a deployment period will be important to your child's growth. Make the hugs and kisses when their soldier returns home the focal point when they look back on this period in their life. Make a memory.....a lasting one...a healthy one......and a happy one!!!




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