By Pfc. David Staten, Defense Media Activity
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. --
The Marine Corps life not only affects troops but the ones dearest to them.
Children of Marines deal with the early mornings, constant moves and the deployment of a parent or parents for months at a time.
There are more than 100,000 children sacrificing alongside their parents. The Month of the Military Child, observed in April, honors these children and the obstacles they overcome growing up in the Corps.
“Challenges Marine Corps children may face include: adapting to and navigating the military lifestyle, adapting to new surroundings and cultures, transitions to new childcare, schools, academic programs, sports programs and social groups,” said Tom Goben, the Family Readiness acting branch head for the Marine & Family Programs Division at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia.
The Marine Corps offers various programs to help children through the Marine and Family Program. Some of the services within the program include: behavioral health, childcare, family readiness, youth programs, military personnel services and personal and professional development.
Services designed for military children include: counseling, school and community resources, opportunities to make connections during relocation, and training that addresses resiliency, character, mobile military lifestyle, and the deployment cycle.
There is also help provided within schools on Marine Corps bases like Quantico Middle/High School.
“When my parents go on a deployment or are in the field for months, it’s tough to deal with them not being around, but a lot of times at school you get a lot of help,” said Stephen Call, a senior from Quantico Middle/High School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. “The counselors and teachers are very approachable and if you need them they will not hesitate to help. I appreciate that.”
Installation Marine and Family Programs put together “Purple Up” events at installations and local schools, including parades, fitness and fun activities, book fairs, story time, trainings and workshops for local school staff and administrators, and other ceremonies highlighting the military child.
“I wish people could understand what the military life means for a child because it means a lot more than just ‘my dads in the military,’” said Treyton Tafolla, a senior from Quantico Middle/High School in Quantico, Virginia. “It means that I understand and basically that I am also in the military.
“I have had sacrifices that I have made and loss friends and gained other friends and so many other things, but I am glad that I am a military child. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be who I am today. The challenges make us stronger.”