Military Children Build Connection, Resiliency Through USO Programming
Every year in April, during the Month of the Military Child, the nation comes together to pay tribute to military children who live each day supporting their parents who answered the call to defend our county.
Over the past two decades, the U.S. Armed Forces has experienced a continuous rotation of combat deployments and a rapid buildup of forces in Eastern Europe, where both service members and their children spent countless holidays and milestones apart from one another, with only a quick phone call or video chat to reconnect and share a brief moment together.
Children of service members endure frequent moves, and long separations from their parents and shoulder the burdens of military service. On average, military children will attend up to nine different schools before they graduate high school because of frequent relocations.
According to the Department of Defense, there are more than 1.6 million military children who face many challenges and unique experiences as a result of their parents’ service. USO programs provide military children and families the tools they need to cope with the unique challenges they face as a family serving our country.
Here’s a look at how the USO celebrated Military Children in the U.S. Southeast throughout the month of April:
USO Fort Campbell
The USO at Fort Campbell joined forces with a local art museum and cultural center in Clarksville, Tenn., to host an inaugural Military Kids Art Show and gallery. 130 pieces of art were submitted by military children and were hosted at the museum for the entire month of April.
Over 428 people attended the show, to include the Fort Campbell Garrison Sgt. Maj. Chad Stackpole. It was wonderful to visualize what military life is like through the eyes of a military child.
USO North Carolina
Hosting multiple events throughout the month, military children find their local USO in North Carolina to be a place where children get inspired, have fun and are empowered to express themselves and their creativity through monthly Lego Clubs held at Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
“Events like this are really a great way for me to spend time with by boys,” said Johnathon Case an Army soldier currently stationed at Fort Bragg who was enjoying a Lego Club event at the USO center on Fort Bragg with his two son’s. “When we share time together like this, it brings us a little bit closer as a family.”
In addition to getting creative and building with Legos, military children also enjoyed a Nerf War at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and a Purple Up Pancake Palooza breakfast at Camp Lejeune.
Throughout Florida, the USO hosted numerous events from outdoor and drive-thru Easter Egg Hunts outdoors, to “How to Catch” a fairy story time and craft.
USO Gulf Coast
In the Gulf Coast region, USO staff and volunteers supported multiple family days held by local military commands. You can rest assured the local USO team was there in full support, ensuring the attending military children had some funs activities to keep them entertained.
For the little weary military travelers who found their way into the USO center at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the USO ensured they had a wholesome treat and a furry friend to take with them as they traveled with their military families.
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