Little Voices, Big Impact: How Military Children Drive Our Advocacy and Programming

550x350-BLOG_MOMC- What My Military Kid Said to Me

The voices of military children may be the smallest ones we hear in a military family, but they are a big part of the work we do. NMFA understands that Military Kids Serve Too® because we see it firsthand. We hear about their unique journey as military children and honor their courage and resilience.

What exactly do we hear from these little voices? A whole lot of big feelings and thoughts, particularly when a parent is deployed.

Little Voices Matter

For Alexandra Garrido, an Air National Guard spouse and teacher, her first deployment with her child was unforgettable.

“My son was six when his dad had to head out for a mission, and he wanted to know why he had to leave us behind,” Alexandra shared. “As a teacher, I knew this was one of those teachable moments, but I was at a loss for words.”

But then, in an unexpected moment, her son, Xavier Ray, expressed something truly heartwarming. “My daddy is a hero, and even though I’ll miss him, I know he is doing good work.”

When asked about his dad’s job, Xavier’s response was simple yet profound: “My daddy helps people who need it and protects our country.” With a reassuring hug to his mom, he added, “We got this, Mom!”

Hearing such words from a military child, looking for reassurance and love during such uncertain times, reminds us all of their silent strength. Military children quickly adapt to the absence of their service member parent while navigating the significant shifts in their daily routines. For them, sacrifice and service go hand in hand, each bringing its own set of challenges and changes. Recognizing their silent strength and courage offers a viewpoint into their world, which is truly inspiring.

Alexandra’s story is a powerful reminder of how deeply kids feel and live their emotions and how important it is to recognize their service, too. They face countless goodbyes, cross-country and international moves, new schools, and unpredictable changes that come with military life. And it’s up to us, as a community, to help make those transitions smoother and more manageable.

Advocating for Military Children

At NMFA, we’re all about lifting the voices of military kids through our work and advocacy. From fun camps and virtual challenges to insightful surveys, we dive deep to understand their lives, struggles, and what they wish we knew.

Through initiatives like our Operation Purple® Programs, military teen program Bloom, and our ongoing research, we’re here to help military kids find their tribe, remind them they’re never alone, and explore new ways to offer support.

We’re passionate about sharing their stories and finding new ways to support them. Keeping communication open, sharing data on how military kids navigate today’s world, and providing resources for families facing deployment are just a few ways we’re committed to ensuring military family voices are heard—because every voice matters.

Do you have a story about something your military child said that stuck with you? Or maybe you want to spotlight a military teen making a difference? We’d love to hear it. Share with us below.

By: Angela Sablan Tenorio, Content Manager