Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Warrick 4-H Project Helps Military Families

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Warrick 4-H Project Helps Military Families

Article excerpt

April is the month of flowers, rain showers, and the anticipation of summer ahead. However, April is also the Month of the Military Child. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there are currently over 1.7 million military children under the age of 18 with a parent serving in the military. Of these children, about 900,000 have had one or both parents deployed multiple times.

A military service is more than just a job. It is also a lifestyle that effects not just the soldier, but all those around them. When a soldier trains with the Indiana Army National Guard, the children are accustomed to the parent leaving occasionally for training. But when the reserves are deployed, the families become "suddenly military families." This leaves the family with a huge hole in their lives.

In addition, many military-support groups and activities are ran by those directly involved in the military such as a spouse, family member, widow, or "veteran.

However, dealing with deployment and running a project can cause great strain on these families.

Operation: Military Kids (OMK) has partnered with Indiana 4-H to thank and support these military families. All across the state, 4- H clubs are assembling "Hero Packs," which are care packages for military families. These packs are given to children of National Guard Reserve soldiers before the parent is deployed.

They contain fun items for the children such as books, school supplies, bouncy balls, and Frisbees. These packs also contain informational folders for the parent/guardian and child with community resources and other information. a The most important component to the Hero Packs is a personal, handwritten letter from a child to a military family thanking them for their service and sacrifice.

For the sixth year, Newburghbased Castle Community 4-H Club assembled 20 Hero Packs through a "Make A Difference" Grant awarded by Youth Resources. …

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