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The Resilience and Grit of Military Children is Unparalleled

“My military suitcase is filled with sadness because I have to move every three years.…Every time I move, I have to leave more and more friends and leave my family.”

Those are the words of fourth-grader Kylee, the daughter of a marine whose family is stationed in Kadena, Japan. Her poem is part of a collection of the artwork and writings of military-connected kids that we are displaying in the White House this, and though she articulated one of the hardest parts of her experience, she wrote about the good parts, too:

“My military suitcase is also filled with happiness because I get to meet new friends….My favorite part about moving is seeing all the beautiful sites.”

The Military Children's Six Foundation is hosting the 2023 Military Children's Leadership Development & Reality Fair on August 17, 2023, in Oxon Hill, MD, and it’s an opportunity to shine a light on the unique challenges that the children of our service members and veterans face, and provide new opportunities for these children. Advocacy is what we do best through leadership development training and educational opportunities to support military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors— The Military Children's Six Foundation have met incredible military kids. They have unparalleled resilience and grit.

They are proud of their families’ service. Still, at the end of the day, they are kids. They and their parents shouldn’t have to face the challenges of military life alone. It’s up to all of us to keep the promise we make to those who stand between our nation and danger: that we will care for them and their families while they serve and when their service is finished. Our motto "We got their Six" and Back 2 Back we stand with them all the way.

Military families often move every few years. Imagine having to start all over again and again. It’s complicated to enroll in a school with different graduation requirements or curriculum, but there are also more subtle challenges, too. Parents have to wonder: Who do you call to babysit? Who do you invite to birthday parties? How do you help your child make friends when everyone else has known each other since kindergarten?

Meanwhile, military kids often find out that their favorite sport isn’t offered at their new school or lose touch with their best friends. These hardships can be heartbreaking but are frequently unseen. Military kids don’t wear a uniform, so most of the time their peers and teachers have no idea what they are going through.

Millions of children in classrooms across the United States have parents who are active-duty military service members, National Guard or Reserve personnel, or veterans.

Additionally, more than 2 million children live with a veteran who has a disability. Because of their families’ service, military kids understand things like war and sacrifice a lot earlier than their peers. They become strong and resilient because they have to be.

We've also met kids as young as 6 who learned what to do if their mom or dad has flashbacks or becomes disoriented. Kids know to call 911 or administer medication or keep triggers away from their parents. It is a heavy burden.

That’s why supporting the initiatives of the Military Children's Six Foundation is sowing good seeds like the 2023 Military Children's Leadership Development & Financial Reality Fair to create supportive programming for children, children of wounded, ill, or injured service members or veterans.

Only through Actions do words take meaning

Still, every single one of us has a role to play. Most military families don’t live on bases; they are a part of civilian communities. Find out who in your community is serving or has served in the military, and then go to your strengths. Offer to be a mentor to a child who is dealing with a deployment or activation. If a military family moves to your neighborhood, reach out to them and include them in your community activities, or invite the kids to a playdate.

It might not seem like much, but these small kindnesses can go a long way and make a huge difference to military families. I’ve seen it firsthand. When communities come together, they will get the support they have earned.

To all of our military parents out there: You’re doing an amazing job. Thank you for what you do for our country and for our kids.

Let’s give our military kids the recognition, support, and opportunities they deserve.

This event is open to the public and free, including all workshops! Visit: if you cannot attend. We never charge the military child for any services, trainings or events.

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