Several studies conducted since 9/11 found that children whose parents are deployed “experienced greater emotional or behavioral difficulties than their civilian counterparts.”
Children of Wounded Warriors face many challenges as they learn to adapt to physical, mental, and emotional changes when a parent comes home injured. And not all injuries are visible. Surveys show that up to 75% of veterans who served after 9/11 experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Family life often becomes all about helping the Wounded Warrior heal and recover, and the children’s problems are overlooked.
Along with the sacrifice of having a parent injured or away in service for months at a time, many families are financially stretched and cannot afford the fees for sports, fine arts, or tutoring programs so crucial to a child’s sense of well-being.
Our Military Kids steps in to help these children by providing them with grants to cover the fees for sports, fine arts, and tutoring programs. The families tell us where they’d like to participate in an activity, and Our Military Kids writes the check to the service provider. Grants cover up to $500 for six months of participation. The impact of the grants goes far beyond financial benefits.
From the wife of a veteran: I cannot begin to tell you the benefit my son received from your generous grant. After his Dad’s injury, Chris was only nine years old and he did not know how to express his sadness and concerns, so he began to wet his pants. We were told by several doctors that he was depressed and we needed to get him involved in something he enjoyed. Chris had always wanted to learn to play an instrument, so when we heard about your organization we were very happy.
He started to learn the saxophone and it has helped him so much with expressing his emotions. While playing his sax one night, he told us he felt much better and all the anger he felt when his dad was injured in the war has changed. In the beginning, he was angry that his dad was in the military. Now, he tells everyone that his dad is a hero. He even wrote a story about his dad being a wounded warrior and read it to his class.
It was a very emotional time for us, but music helps him deal with all that has happened to our family since his dad’s injuries in the war.
This family’s story is just one of many. In our survey of grant recipients, 89% said their children had an increase in stress and anxiety, but 98% said that participation in activities benefitted their children.
Please help us provide more grants to our littlest warriors. You can either make a general donation, or choose to donate to a specific region.