Fanning the Home Fires: Raising Awareness and Caring for Military Kids & Families

In: Social Issues

Submitted By mnclusk
Words 2150
Pages 9

Caroline Lusk

Full-length Article – Final

Fanning the Home Fires: Raising Awareness and Caring for military kids & families

During my husband’s career, my family and I have visited several military installations: Camp Shelby, Mississippi, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and Fort Dix, New Jersey to name a few. If you have never visited an Army base, it’s quite an experience. In some respects, it’s not much different than many middle-income towns in America, but in other ways, it’s very different. The people you meet there feel like family somehow. They, like you, are aware that if you are on the base, shopping or in the grocery store that it’s likely you or someone in your family may be faced with the same uncertain but inevitable struggle; coping with the deployment of a family member.
Education, teaching coping strategies and connecting families and service personnel to the available resource has been a top initiative of the US Armed Forces in the past 5 years. With the increased dependency upon Reserve and National Guard components to supplement force strength, an unprecedented burden has been placed on the American family. For those individuals who are actively serving as a part-time soldier, deployments mean separation, family hardship and leaving their ordinary everyday lives to serve their Country.
In my case, my husband Mark serves as a Sergeant in the Pennsylvania National Guard as a tank commander. He has been deployed several times, for up to 18 months, and even as I write this article, he is again actively serving our great Nation. “I serve God and Country for my family and the people I love. It is my duty,” Mark told me recently. “I know it’s hard, but the times we’ve been apart are what have grown us strong enough to be able to overcome any challenges in life that may come our way.” Though…...

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