Aligned with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative, this project is dedicated to the often-forgotten casualties of war – the children of military families. These children face many challenges that can affect their lives. Contending with a parent’s deployment, relocation and reintegration can be challenging for children. Additionally, there are extraordinary stressors associated with the return of a parent who is injured, disabled, or otherwise changed. Worse still, are the parents who do not return at all. These stressors have an impact on children’s physical and mental health. Given the reality of challenges faced by children of today’s world, schools offer a great place to help children navigate through these challenges. We know that the military offers great programs to support families and their children, especially schools based in the installations. However, 80% of military children attend civilian schools. Most civilian schools, however, are currently ill-prepared to meet the needs of military children and their family. Civilian schools can serve as an additional support system for our military families in our communities.
The goal of Project C.O.M.B.A.T. is to provide school-based support to children and their military families (Active Duty, Reserves, National Guard, Veterans) in order to contribute to their success and physical and mental health. The project consists of 3 phases:
- Develop the Project C.O.M.B.A.T. Magazine Collection for school personnel. The magazines cover the basics of military culture and experiences, practical tips and coping strategies, resilience-building activities for children, and resources.
- Provide Live School-Based Training to increase school professionals’ awareness and understanding of the challenges met by military children and their families, as well as reinforce how the military build character, strength, and resilience in children.
- Develop a Military Child & Family Support Network dedicated to continuous assistance of families within each school or school district. The support network is particularly geared to support the mental health and well-being of children and families and build their resilience.
To access and download the Project C.O.M.B.A.T. Magazine Collection, click Here