Every year, April is designated as “Month of the military Child.” During this month, military children are recognized for their important role in the military community and honored for their contribution. The Armed Services YMCA, Twentynine Palms Branch uses this month to highlight the sacrifices of our military children and emphasize that they serve with their parents.
The Armed Services YMCA’s Operation Hero after school program is designed to help school-age military children deal with the challenges associated with living in a military family. Children from the program talked with us about their lives as sons and daughters of Marines and Sailors, and what being part of a military family means for them. Their answers revealed the challenges and the joys of military life. For children who are eight, nine and ten years old they are wise beyond their years, facing more challenges in their young lives than many people face in a lifetime. The challenges they have faced at a young age have enabled them to take on life’s difficulties both big and small with grace and humor.
The Stress of military life can be overwhelming. Having an absent parent because of deployment, or frequently moving and adjusting to new neighborhoods can be disruptive and frightening for children of our military service members. The Armed Services YMCA, Twentynine Palms Branch strivers to serve our military children of all ages throughout the year whether it be through confidence building programs like our after school enrichment program Operation Hero, our Parent/Child Interactive Classes, our Summer Camps, and Summer Fun Programs, or through programs like Operation Kid Comfort, which provide support and comfort to the children of deployed service members. In honor of military children in Twentynine Palms and across the globe, the ASYMCA encourages Americans to support military children and families in their communities by volunteering or donating to programs like these that help meet their needs.