Veteran’s Day Snapshot: Kids Speak About Military Family Life

Nov 11, 2010 As a global citizen coming from a lifelong military family background, Veteran’s Day is a touchy topic with me, as I’ve written before, “it’s not about mattress sales” and it’s not “veterinarians” day either, folks…

So I was thrilled to see that New Moon Girls tween site had conducted a survey and published snippets of girls’ experiences growing up in active duty families, to begin to snap open the eyes of ‘civilians’ (peers, educators, etc) and help gain a better understanding.

As the ‘new girl’ at every school my entire life, it sure makes for coping skills, independence and resiliency, and in some ways, the ‘fresh start’ was a welcome respite. (my own daughter reminds me that when you grow up with the same kids, life phases/reputations long past are hard to shake)

It also shifts one’s worldview a tad, so it’s fun to peek into the feedback from girls 8-12 recalling my own childhood at that age, and see how it’s formed my outlook as many of us self-identify as “Military Brats” even today.

With people camping out in line for the new Call of Duty Black Ops videogame (CBS reports blasting sales records with $360 million in 24 hours?) I can’t help but wonder what REAL life veterans think about the commercialism and glorification of their military service, since so many come home with PTSD issues (see post on Virtual Healing) and find themselves responding to media like HeartMath (emwave technology) to gain coherence between hearts and minds.

Here’s how to send a veteran a HeartMath Institute Military Service Appreciation postcard of care (like the one above, choose diff styles, free)  and if you’d like to send a care package, Operation Gratitude makes it easy too (see relevant links below!)

Meanwhile, I’ll relink to some of my own published pieces, still apropos, along with a few more Veteran’s Day media musts coming from multiple ends of the spectrum…including the fabulous children’s book “Playing War” from peace and social justice company Reach and Teach about a boy with some serious baggage coming from a warzone faced with peers who loved the pretend play of combat, as he makes excuses to ditch the “game” when the truth finally comes out (which the boys initially think is “cool”) —excellent picture book/storyline.

As social media like My Vetwork helps Veterans and their families connect the dots worldwide (I see their CEO John Campbell has recently joined the Dept of Defense which makes sense, since the Obama administration is big on leveraging technology tools for usefulness) I’ll use this blog as MY social media conduit offering a mini-link list of some other sites to check out.

I’m still in ‘sideways’ mode and using this as a grounding force while ‘overseeing’ my OWN veteran, Capt. A.R. Jussel USN Ret (aka dear ol dad) who is having a bit of a ‘change of command’ during these trying health scenarios. An attitude of gratitude universally for veterans home and afar…and to their families who support them at every juncture.

And thanks, New Moon Girls, for giving the tweens a voice and giving us all a poignant peek into their reality as ‘service family’ veterans!

Visual Credits:  Girls Inc via New Moon Girls; both fabulous orgs!

Veteran’s Day Resource Roundup: by Amy Jussel, Shaping Youth

Shouldn’t Veterans Day Be Only For Veterans?

Virtual Healing: War Torn Teens Face Reality Post Iraq Duty

MyVetwork: Connecting the Digital Dots (for veterans globally!)

Veterans Day/Memorial Day Are Not Mattress Sales

Narada Michael Walden: Grammy Winner Uses Music to Uplift the Heart

Women & the Military: MyVetwork for Service/Support

Celebrity Starpower to Benefit Urban Battlefields

Random Resources for Veteran’s Day

Virtual World/Virtual Reality Research

Virtual Reality Treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Cornell University: Program for Anxiety & Trauma Stress Studies

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy: WTC Report (7 pp. pdf)

Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, Virtual Healing, Designing Reality Paper

Center for Really Neat Research (seriously! ck medicine meets VR for kids with disabilities)

RezEd: The Hub for Learning & Virtual Worlds

Media

History Channel: Take A Veteran to School Day

Ken Burns’ “The War” w/VHP & PBS

Top 10 Anti-War Films (About.com)

Top 50 War Films (IMBD) Schindler’s List #1

Flags of Our Fathers

Sites

VA Kids: K-5, 6-12, Teachers

VA ‘Lessons of Liberty’

VA video: Jennifer Love Hewitt: Action Steps/Volunteering

Veteran’s History Project, Library of Congress

Celebrating America’s Freedoms: (Customs, Symbols, Icons, etc.)

Outreach

Operation Gratitude

Soldier Care Package Ideas

Treats for Troops

Milblogging.com (largest index of military blogs)

The Golden Rules of Care Packages (funny business)

Operation USO Care Package

Piggies-n-Paws: HandMade Personalized Art Using Kids’ Prints

Kids’ Veteran’s Day Activities:

Crafts, Poetry, Word Search/Reading List

Apples4TheTeacher

Enchanted Learning/Easy Kids’ Crafts

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier/Fact Quiz

Cybersleuth Kids’ Internet Search guide for K-12/Veteran’s Day Sites

1 Minute PSA Operation Gratitude: by Women in Film, L.A.

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