Immediately we look to help support the military member in uniform, yet forget there are the dependents as well who need our support. One particular dependent that sometimes needs a voice to call for help is the military child. Not only does a military child have to deal with the normal stress that comes with growing up, but they are also faced with having to deal with their mother or father being deployed.
I recently received a book titled “My Story: Blogs By Four Military Teens”, written by Michelle Sherman and DeAnne Sherman. Usually I’m the type of guy that just gets to the starting page to begin reading, but something caught my attention on the second page when I opened the book. It was a two sentence message that read “To our Heroes: The children in the military families. We recognize your sacrifices and honor your courage.” After reading that message I said to myself “that is a statement you don’t ever hear.”
Although I am not a military brat, while serving I became good friends with those who did grow up on a military base. I learned so much by talking to them about what life was like growing up as a military kid. I learned about the difficult times having to move so often, but the worst of all was having their parents deployed overseas. Not knowing when your parent would come home to fill that emptiness that lurks through out the house was the toughest to deal with growing up as a military kid according to my friends who lived it.
“My Story: Blogs By Four Military Teens”, written by Michelle and DeAnne Sherman is a book that brings to life what a military child may be dealing with and thinking while their parent is deployed. This book brings us into the lives of four military teens, where we learn about their daily struggles as they wait for that knock at the door to finally arrive. For a parent serving in the military, it gives them a glimpse into what their own children may be thinking and dealing with while they are deployed for a substantial length of time. For other military kids, this books gives them a chance to realize they are not a lone.
“My Story: Blogs By Four Military Teens” is a book that also gives military children a brilliant idea on how to pass the time and help ease their stress while their parent is deployed. In the counseling field, we know how beneficial it is to write thoughts on paper to help ease our minds. In this case, military children are given the idea of writing a blog, otherwise known as an online journal.
The book by Michelle and DeAnne Sherman has taken parts of the blogs that the four military teens have written while their parents are deployed. These four military teens, deal with issues such as, a father who returns home suffering from PTSD, a mother deployed during the holidays, a father returns home with visible wounds, and a father struggling with depression and anger. This is a book that reaches out to military kids, created by military kids in the hopes to get them to begin writing and working on their own feelings during times of deployment, but also for any difficult time.
As a certified school guidance counselor, I was very impressed with what the book had to offer for the military child. There is a great assortment of resources, programs and organizations setup to help the military child during deployments, and today military children are taking charge and coming together to form their own groups, in person and even online to help one another. These groups need to be supported, for the sake of the military child.
Special Thanks to Michelle Sherman and DeAnne Sherman.
Transitioning Veteran Wiki – Military Kids