By Wayne Yoshino, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii School Support ServicesJune 3, 2010
SCHOFIELDAca,!E+BARRACKS, Hawaii - Operation Military Kids is the U.S. Army\'s effort to partner with America's communities to support children of deployed service members throughout the United States.
Recently, two briefings with Dr. Al Saito, clinical director of youth psychiatry at Tripler Army Medical Center, focused on the effects of deployment.
When National Guard, Reserve and active duty military families living in civilian communities mobilize, their children experience the distinctive stress of being a military child. These children have unique needs for special support and services, even though they still look the same to their friends and community.
Ready, Set, Go is a branch of OMK designed to offer insight for community members into military culture and the deployment cycle, and it suggest ways to understand and meet the needs of military children.
Educators, counselors, Department of Education superintendents and parents listened as Maj. Cesar Pudiquet and Maj. Mark Mitsui, National Guard representatives, spoke about the challenges faced by National Guard families during deployments.
In addition, a parent panel made up of active duty Army and National Guard spouses was included at the end of the briefings, so the entire group could hear the emotional and behavioral health challenges faced by military families when one of the spouses is deployed.
Ready, Set, Go briefings were held at the Hale Ikena, Fort Shafter, and the Nehelani, here. Another Ready, Set, Go briefing is planned for Maui, later this year.
OMK functions in 42 states across the country, including Hawaii.
For more information on this program, visit www.operationmilitarykids.org/.