From the Green Mountains to the Mountains of Afghanistan
A parent’s deployment can be really hard on a kid. And having a parent in the National Guard or Reserve can make a child feel like the only one in the world with a mom or dad in the military. That’s why we were pleased to read about an effort in Vermont to rally support for the state’s Guard families.
With a population of just 609,000 and no military installations within its borders, it’s probably safe to say that relatively few Vermont families have been personally affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Until now. In the Vermont National Guard’s biggest deployment since World War II, 1,500 members will deploy to Afghanistan.
Anticipating that the family members left behind will need help from the community, Vermont Secretary of State Deborah L. Markowitz launched the “Service for Service” program to coordinate the efforts of schools and other organizations that want to support Guard members and their families. Already a few of the state’s elementary schools have held fundraisers and other events.
We applaud the schools that have taken part and hope more follow suit. As Capt. Chris Day, told the Rutland Herald, “it will be stressful for my wife with me not being around, but it will be my daughter’s classmates who will help her through this and it will be the Brattleboro community that will help them while I’m away.”
For suggestions on helping your family deal with the deployment of a service member, read Building the Resilience of Your Military Family. It’s one of many resources available to service members and their families through Military OneSource.