Author, comedian teaches children to take care of self
November 17, 2011
FORT DRUM, N.Y. --- Like a bandage that protects an apparent wound, a person sometimes guards his or her emotional wounds with an invisible bandage -- often in the form of a forced smile, depression or even anger.
The same goes for 10th Mountain Division (LI) wounded warriors, who sometimes guard their physical and emotional wounds with a bandage large enough to block out the world, because they think that's the only way they can still perform their military duty.
To help children of these wounded warriors understand what their loved ones are going through, children's author and motivational speaker Trevor Romain has created a DVD, titled "Taking Care of You."
He has been touring military installations, showing the DVD and talking to children about post-traumatic stress disorder and how to cope with a loved one's physical and emotional injuries.
Romain visited local northern New York schools last week and stopped by Fort Drum on Nov. 10 to talk to Soldiers and Families.
His performance was a mix of jokes to lighten the mood, coupled with a question-and-answer session with the children in the audience.
"It's OK to be angry sometimes. It's OK to be frustrated -- it's even OK to be sad," Romain told children during his presentation. "It's what we do with those feelings that's really important.
"Remember two things at the end of the day: No. 1, express your feelings … and the other thing (is) talk to people about how you feel."
He said the video is designed to help children to be a "good support for someone who may have been injured," physically or emotionally.
"No matter what your loved ones' injuries are, they are still the same person they were before the injury," Romain reminded audience members.
"Trevor has a unique ability to connect with kids," explained Woody Englander, Romain's business partner.
In the past 20 years, Romain has spoken to more than 60,000 children worldwide.
Among the attendees was April Gilreath, whose husband, Sgt. Randy Gilreath, recently deployed with 7th Engineer Battalion.
Gilreath said she brought her children to the performance as a way to prepare her daughters, Alethia, 10, and Skyler, 8, for any possible situation, because "you never know what can happen."
"I appreciate every little thing like this (performance), because it's good for the kids -- we all learn something together," she added.
In the spring, Romain's "With You All the Way" tour stopped at Fort Drum. While here, he spoke to military children about issues they encounter, such as bullying, and being the new kid in school, and how to overcome those challenges.
Each child who attended the event received a kit that contained a "Taking Care of You" DVD, a plush mouse who "listens" to children, a "comfort crew" patch and a journal.