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7: RECOGNITION

We like being recognized.

Military kids have made the connection between their parent’s service and the benefits that come with it. They also notice public support of the military as well. They named programs like Operation Purple® camp, installation privileges, and gifts from their parent’s travels as some of the best parts about being a military family.

“There are good things like getting to go on base, fun activities, and good advantages.”

Some of the benefits in the military they talked about indicated that little ears are doing a lot of listening to the grown-ups in their lives. Their “Top Ten” lists included benefits such as fully-funded health care, a guaranteed job, and the commissary (the military’s version of your local supermarket)! Indeed, military families don’t always feel the effects of economic fluctuations in the same way some civilian families do. Overall, job security is high in the military and, at the present time, there are no premiums paid for military-provided health care when service members are on active duty. Military families also receive a housing allowance to apply toward housing costs. Department of Defense Schools rank high on many school quality ratings. Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) activities at military installations provide everything from on-base bowling, supervised pools, or even skate parks, which can make even the most remote military installation feel like home.

Kids definitely appreciate public support of the military. Here are some other ways to give back to the military community and help kids learn how to pay it forward:

  • Fly your flag, wear a pin, or display a support our troops ribbon. They’ll notice!
  • Write thank you notes, as a group, to deployed troops.
  • Have discussions about the role of public service, whether serving in uniform or participating in a neighborhood cleanup.
  • Donate to a military charity in honor of a military family you know.
  • Support initiatives that provide better education, health care, and recreational activities for military families.

Resources:

U.S. Department of Defense Community Relations Website—A Department of Defense website that provides opportunities for citizens to show support for service members. Visit www.ourmilitary.mil for more ways to support military families.

Let’s Say Thanks—Pick and send a free postcard with a thank you message to troops overseas. Visit www.letssaythanks.com to send a card today!