I have just completed the Germany phase of our Comical Sense tour. In Italy now!
On this trip, I have met some incredible, forgotten kids.
I say forgotten because most people have no idea what children of military families go through. Or, for that matter, even give them a second thought. (This is the reason Ronda Englander and I co-founded our non-profit, the Comfort Crew for Military Kids.)
We often see the slow motion video of a child running into their dad or mom’s arms upon their return from a deployment. And that’s about the extent of it.
I say forgotten kids because these little souls, almost two million of them in the US, float among us without most people realizing:
That they have to move every two to three years often leaving friends and family behind at every turn.
That their parents may be on the fifth, sixth or seventh deployment. Or even more.
That some will go to six, seven and eight different schools before they graduate.
That the divorce rate in the military is very high.
That military kids have higher rates of suicide ideation than kids in the general population.
On the subject of military kids, I could not help but shoot a picture of this little girl (Norah) when I was at her school in Ramstein last week.
Her little soul shines out from behind her stunning eyes. This is a wonderful, thoughtful human being who has not chosen to be a military kid but will go through a lot while her family serves to protect the rest of us.
As a salute to our military kids, I’d like to paraphrase an e-mail I received some time ago when we first began the With You All The Way Tour.
Dear Mr. Trevor,
When my daddy was deployed I wrote my feelings down in the journal that you gave us. When my daddy came back I showed him my journal.
When he read my journal he started to cry.
When my daddy started to cry, that’s when he got his feelings back.
When he got his feelings back, that’s when I knew I got my daddy back.
Delissa (9 years old)
"The place where I grow ideas and create stories using words, illustrations and photographs" - Trevor Romain