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Celebrating the Resilience of Military Children


SPONSORED CONTENT -- (StatePoint) Life in the U.S. Armed Forces can be challenging, especially for the youngest members of the nation’s military community: the 1.6 million children of service members. From constant change and uncertainty, to being uprooted every few years and finding their place in a new school with each new location, to their service member parent deploying suddenly for months – or even years – at a time, these realities of military life can take a toll.

“Military children go through many experiences that most children don’t go through,” said military spouse and mother Jessica McLaughlin. “Having to leave their friends and everything they know to move across the world presents a different set of challenges.”

During April, which is the Month of the Military Child, the United Service Organizations (USO) is raising awareness about the specific challenges these so-called “military brats” face, and is celebrating them to thank and support them for the invaluable role they play.

Beyond special events taking place in April, military families can find year-round support and entertainment at many of the over 250 USO locations around the globe, where kid-friendly activities are designed to help them make friends with fellow military kids, or bond with their families. When stationed far from everything familiar, be that stateside or in distant locations overseas, these centers are a home-away-from-home, where military kids are surrounded by a supportive community and other military children who understand the unique challenges they face. Programs for military children, such as arts and crafts, game nights, cooking classes and scavenger hunts, are designed to offer a little fun so that they can forget, even briefly, the stress of life as a military child.

By age 9, Victoria Hegedusich has lived in California, Maine and Japan, and she’ll most likely move four or five more times before she graduates high school, as military families, on average, move every 2.5 years. Hegedusich and her family are frequent visitors at the USO Yokosuka Center in Japan, where they make use of the free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, snacks, books and games, as well as take part in events and programs geared specifically to families and children.

“The USO is really fun. I like coming here to do the activities,” Hegedusich said, who has especially loved any events and programs that involve science.

To learn more about the life of military children and discover ways you can help support them, visit

Military children are resilient, and thanks to programming just for them, they can feel grounded and appreciated, wherever they are.


Photo Credit: (c) USO Photos

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