Appreciation certificates

Awesome Kid Certificate (Deployment Kids) honors all military kids. You are brave! We appreciate all the sacrifices you make when your loved one serves our proud country. Thank you! Here is a special (free) certificate for you based on a drawing sent in by 6-year-old Alexander.

Certificate of Appreciation for Kids (Blue Star Families)
Blue Star Families and Operation Appreciation would like to provide all of our military families and service members the opportunity to recognize their outstanding military children through our Outstanding Military Child/Teen Award Certificates. Service members are often recognized with certificates and medals for their outstanding service, and we at Blue Star Families would like to provide the opportunity for the outstanding military children in our lives to receive that same recognition. We want our children to be able to hang their own certificate on the wall along with those of their parents.

Every military child is eligible for this award. We want for every military family to tell their child how outstanding and important they are!

Military Child Medal (Morgan House Woodprojects)
When servicemembers serve, they aren't the only ones who serve. Their families serve also, and usually the separation is hardest on the children. Homecomings are joyous moments for military families, but until recently, the service and sacrifice made by the children of deployed troops went largely unrecognized. 

There is NO "issuing criteria" beyond that of a loving parent that wishes to recognize the contributions of the child that loves them and who sacrifices just like their parent while the
parent is serving their country. This certificate is available for purchase.



Bike Free
Bike Free, our non-profit organization, was created by us — two guys far too old to be called ‘kids’, but not too old to forget what it’s like to be one. Our vision is to share the joy and freedom a bicycle brings to kids who need a good bike ride.

With our country’s continued involvement in the Middle East and Afghanistan, we wanted to do something for our military families as well.

Through Bike Free, we are able to accomplish both. It’s hard enough growing up, and the added stress of having a parent whose job is defending our country, is tremendous. By providing bikes to as many kids as we can, we hope to bring just a little bit of the freedom, hope, fun and joy that riding a bike gives. With the help of the USO to find the families, and the support of groups like the Rotary Club, we are excited at the potential we have to bring big smiles, healthy hearts, and strong legs to kids now, and in the future!


Coping resources, toolkits, and other helpful resources

Barry Robinson Center (Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA)
For almost 90 years, The Barry Robinson Center has been improving the lives of children and families. The Center offers a residential treatment program for military-connected youth with mental health issues. The Center also offers community based services including a treatment foster care program.

Youth from military-connected families will find a supportive community here. Our treatment programs have been designed to help children and teens from military-connected families find understanding and acceptance, which contributes to their success in treatment. Many of our employees served in the military, and we are committed to training all employees in military lifestyle and culture.
Site includes journaling ideas, distance calculator, links, downloads, etc.

Helping children coping with deployment and reunions (Real Warriors)
Children respond differently to a parent’s deployment depending on their age and maturity level. Negotiate the stages of deployment with tips on helping children cope while mom or dad is deployed. Organize pre-deployment family meetings and review age-leveled activities, books and videos. Website includes numerous helpful articles and resources.

Holiday stress and deployment (Kids Growth)
This article from Kids Growth offers tips in helping kids with a deployed parent cope with holiday stress and offers great insights.

Holiday stress and deployment (Surviving
Ten tips to help children celebrate holidays when a parent is deployed.

Military Families Knowledge Bank
Here you will find many useful resources available to assist Military Family Members and their Health Care and Service Providers.

Military Kids Connect
Parents - At Military Kids Connect you can explore exciting ways to connect with your children as they cope with a parent's deployment.
Educators - Hear experienced educators talk about their work with military youth.

Military OneSource
Military OneSource (MOS) supplements existing family programs by providing a website and a worldwide, 24 hour, seven-day-a-week information and referral telephone service to ALL active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers, deployed civilians and their families. MOS services are provided at no-cost.This site is designed to help military families deal with life's issues.

Military Youth Coping with Separation: When Family Members Deploy (DVD)
Military pediatricians and youth professionals developed DVD's to help military children understand and deal with the emotions related to a family member's deployment.

The United States Army Medical Command and the American Academy of Pediatrics produced "Military Youth Coping with Separation: When Family Members Deploy," to address a variety of deployment-related concerns for teens. For elementary age children there is a, "Mr. Poe and Friends Discuss Reunion After Deployment" DVD. The animated host, Mr. Poe, mentors and provides guidance to children and family members as they discuss deployment.

Sesame Street's Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes
This bilingual (English and Spanish) multimedia outreach program is designed to support military families with children between the ages of two and five who are experiencing deployment, multiple deployments, or a parent's return home changed due to a combat-related injury. Has materials, videos, music available for download.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress —an NCTSN member site—and FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress)—a project co-sponsored by the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress—perform research on, develop resources about, and provide assistance to military families.

Preparing Children for Deployment - Real Warriors
Although children’s reactions will vary with their personalities and ages, a parent’s deployment will almost always be puzzling to children. Parents wonder how the separation will affect their children and how they can help them through this time. The deploying parent wonders how they can continue to be a good parent while they are away; the stay-home parent worries about handling added responsibility.1 Part 1 of the series, Preparing Children for Deployment, provides steps and activities that prepare your children for the absence of a parent — no matter what that parent’s branch of service may be. The tips are designed to help parents and children connect by building trust and cooperation within the family. 

Successfully coping with the deployment experience -
Children are not little adults. They have their own unique view of the world which is very different from the world adults see. While reassurance and guidance with words is important to children, watching their parents successfully cope with the deployment experience will help them develop confidence. This program is designed to help you help your kids. Take an assessment or jump into the workshops to learn more about successfully coping with the deployment experience. Check out the videos of others who are dealing with deployment, and explore the e-library for in-depth information.

The Future of Children: Military Children and Families

Toolkit - Military Kids
Each summer, the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple® program provides a free week of camp for thousands of military youth who have a parent serving in the Uniformed Services. We asked participants to tell us the best and hardest parts about military life in an activity called the Top Ten List. The messages in this toolkit summarize what they’ve said over the past few years.

This toolkit, coming from the perspective of elementary school-age military children 6 to 11 years old, is the second in a series from the National Military Family Association to give the people in military kids’ lives—teachers, school counselors, coaches, community leaders, religious leaders, neighbors, family friends, or relatives—a way to help them manage stress and affirm the positive aspects of military life.

What we hear repeatedly from military kids is that they need people in their community to know what they’re going through. The best thing you can do for a military kid is know who they are and be there when they need to talk to someone.

Toolkit - Military Teens
Each summer, the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple® program provides a free week of camp for thousands of military youth who have a parent serving in the Uniformed Services. We ask them to tell us the best and hardest parts about military life in a popular activity called the Top Ten list. The messages in this toolkit summarize what they’ve said over the past few years.

The National Military Family Association created this kit to give the people in military teens’ lives— teachers, school counselors, coaches, community or religious youth group leaders, neighbors, family friends, or relatives—a way to help them manage stress and affirm the positive aspects of military life. 

What we hear repeatedly from military teens is that they need people in their community to know what they’re going through. The best thing you can do for a military teen is know who they are and be there when they need someone to talk to.



Defending the Blue Line
Defending the Blue Line is a non profit organization created by soldiers  with the spirit of keeping hockey alive for the children of our nations military heroes. Our mission at Defending The Blue Line (DTBL) is ensuring that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey. We accomplish this by providing free equipment for military kids, hockey camps, special events, and financial assistance for registration fees and other costs associated with hockey.


Month of the Military Child (April)

Month of the Military Child
Has various crafts and projects for children, some military specific.

Month of the Military Child - Military Child's Creed (Military Avenue)
Military-Brats are strong!  Active Duty kids move around the country, acclimating themselves to new cultures, new friends, new surroundings.  They, along with our National Guard and Reserve children, are separated from one or both of their parents for long periods at a time.

As the mom of four military children I know they hold the key to the future. I pray for their future. I work to ensure that they are educated, social and well rounded. When their dad was deployed we sought the support we needed. We used programs like Military Kids, the YMCAUnited through Reading.  When friends asked "Can I help?" I gave them a resounding "YES!"  We got out of the house; there was no holing up for us.

And you know what, my kids are a-ok!  They are strong. They are resilient. They are adaptable. They inspired me to take a look at the US Army Soldier's Creed and apply it to their way of life.

Month of the Military Child - Real Warriors
Each year, the Department of Defense recognizes military families by celebrating the Month of the Military Child throughout April. Service members with children across the nation can take this opportunity to spend time with their loved ones, while also learning about the importance of family resilience and readiness. The information and resources on this link can help you communicate with your family throughout the Month of the Military Child and the entire deployment cycle.


Support organizations

FOCUS Project
As a service initiated by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), FOCUS Project addresses concerns related to parental combat operational stress injuries and combat-related physical injuries by providing state-of-the-art family resiliency services to military children and families at designated Navy and Marine Corps sites. In 2009, FOCUS Family Resiliency Services have been made available to Army and Air Force families at designated installations through support from the Defense Department's Office of Family Policy.

When military parents fulfill occupational duties during wartime, their children and families can face many challenges, such as long separations, changes in family routines, and dealing with concerns about the safety of the parent who is deployed and about the well-being of the parent who remains at home. There may be times when they find long and multiple deployments more challenging than usual, particularly if a parent is dealing with the effects of combat stress and/or injuries. FOCUS is based on over 20 years of research with children and families facing challenges and adversities in many different settings. It has successfully provided services to thousands of participants at dozens of sites and continues to expand, including new online availability for those who are remotely located.

Operation: Military Kids
Provides tangible support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel through grants for enrichment activities and tutoring that nurture and sustain the children during the time a parent is away in service to our country.

Our Military Kids
Our Military Kids provides tangible support to children of deployed National Guard and Reserve personnel as well as to children of severely injured service members through grants for enrichment activities and tutoring. Such activities help these children cope with the stress of having a parent in a war zone or recovering from injury at home. Our Military Kids grants are made to honor the sacrifices that military families make and to ensure that their children have access to sports, fine arts, or academic tutoring programs.

YMCA supports families of deployed Soldiers
The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) is a national member association of the YMCA of the USA and works with the Department of Defense. ASYMCA has provided support services to military service members and their families for more than 140 years, particularly focused on junior-enlisted men and women – the individuals on the front lines defending our nation and their families. It offers essential programs such as childcare, hospital assistance, spouse support services, food services, computer training classes, health and wellness services, and holiday meals, among many others.

Zero to Three
Our mission is to promote the health and development of infants and toddlers. The Military Projects section of Zero to Three is committed to supporting the youngest of children from military families. Offers video for parents, brochures, flyers, articles - many resources targeted for ages newborn to three years of age.
Additional resources for military children and teens
To be directed to the complete listing of MILITARY CHILDREN AND TEENS resources, click HERE.
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Copyright 2008 - 2022 Benita Koeman, Operation We Are Here.  All rights reserved.
Operation We Are Here is a HUB of RESOURCES for the military community and military supporters.
Military support is not a concept to embrace; military support is sacrificial action. Visit our military support TOOLKIT.
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