Iintroduced Operation: Military Kids(OMK) to SpouseBUZZ back in April 2007. To be honest, I haven't thought much about OMK since then. Primarily because my children are active duty dependents and OMK's main purpose is to support the children of National Guard and Army Reserve parents.I also think that sometimes I hear of someone or some organization that is doing great work and am impressed, but then I tuck the information away in the back of my head somewhere and, sadly, forget about them. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this (right?!), but I can't help feeling a little ashamed.
Then, during our SBLive event in Norfolk, a nice lady in the audience mentioned OMK on at least two separate occasions and I had an "ah ha" moment. I needed to check back in on the program and see if there was anything new happening. And with April being the Month of the Military Child, what better time? Well, again, I dropped the ball and let it fall to the wayside. What is it they say about good intentions??
Thankfully, fate Facebook intervened. My lovely aunt, Chris Gleason, just happens to be the OMK Director for the state of Iowa (I know, even more reason for my shame in "forgetting" about them) and posted a link on her Facebook page! They do, indeed, have something new happening. And it's a board game for kids.
The game focuses on deployment related issues that military families must contend with.While the issues may seem "normal" to us, itcan really be an eye-openingexperience for the civilianchildrenthat are introduced to the game.There may be thousands of Guard and Reserve soldiers deployed in any given state, but the families are often spread far and wide. Thus, leaving the children to often feel alone at the most common places;even their own schools. A little understanding amongst one's peers can go a long way in helpinga childopen up about their feelings and experiences.
Right now,the game isonly available in Iowa, but the Iowa OMK is working with U.S. Army Child and Youth Services in hopes of mass-producing the game. So, keep an eye out for Deployment: It's not a game... and be sure to check out the OMK website. There may be something going on in your state, too!