Did you know that of nearly 2M military children, most move 6-9 times during their K-12 years?

A permanent change of station (PCS), or military reassignment, doesn’t always allow kids to complete a school year in one place. Growing up as an Army brat, I remember that kids were always coming and going throughout the school year. I was one of them. New school, new teachers, new friends. I can’t remember a single friend before the age of 10 because there was a revolving door of them.

Fortunately, we didn’t know any different, so adapting to change felt normal. We learned foreign languages and climbed on retired tanks as our playground equipment. Someone’s mom coached our t-ball team and led Girl Scouts. My mom volunteered and smoked a corn pipe.

Now, more military kids than not live outside of a military installation, attending civilian schools with kids and adults who have no idea what it’s like to grow up in a military family.

Fortunately, the Military Education Coalition (MCEC) is a non-profit organization with a goal to help military families and schools to provide better support for children.  That includes educating them about unique challenges faced by military kids, and an understanding of sensitivities. Military kids worry about their deployed parents. They take on extra responsibilities. They miss important moments when mom or dad is serving overseas. And they hear every comment made about the war, soldiers getting killed, political opinions…all of it. Often from people or other kids who are unaware that they have one or both parents deployed. MCEC works to bridge that gap, educate teachers, school nurses and administrators, creating a more supportive school environment that fosters successful transitions for military kids, because they sacrifice for America too. Visit militarychild.org to learn more.

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