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When someone enlists to serve our country, their families serve too...

“I have definitely noticed positive changes in Austin since he started the Operation Hero program. He now has some tools to help him when he is feeling stressed or overwhelmed. and I am confident that Austin has learned ways to work through any issues that may come up with a positive attitude.” - Parent of Austin, Operation Hero participant

It is stories like this that make my job so wonderful. Raising my own kids while serving this country in the Navy, I know firsthand the tremendous sacrifice military children make. I also know how strong and resilient they are when we give them the tools they need to handle the unique challenges of military life.

Not only do military children have to adapt to changes due to a parent’s military service, but many are behind academically. During the 2020-2021 school year, researchers estimate that K-12 students fell significantly behind in both math and reading. Additionally, nearly all K-12 students have experienced some challenges to their mental health and well-being during the pandemic.

The needs of our military youth are urgent– and we need your help.

Austin’s story is not unique, which is why the Armed Services YMCA is dedicated to providing programs and services tailored to military families at no or low-cost. Programs like Operation Hero, which provided Austin the tools and mentorship to thrive both at school and at home.

Will you help military children like Austin? 

When someone enlists to serve our country, their families serve, too. We owe it to them to provide every resource possible to ensure they thrive.

Vice Admiral Retired William French