There are several things that make Fayetteville a great city to live in. We have some of the best southern hostility, wonderful attractions, a rich history of how the city was founded and named and most importantly, we have some of the bravest soldiers to have ever put on an Army uniform. Behind these courageous soldiers stand their spouses, parents, friends and those little ones we often forget; their children. 04-20-11-saving-military-child.jpg

Children of military parents are not often mentioned. It can be easy to forget that children have sincere feelings about what is happening in our world and to their parents. We forget that military children read the newspaper, watch the news and overhear people talking about the wars their parents are fi ghting. Unfortunately, we forget that when parents are deployed, it not only affects their spouse, but also their children.

Military children endure great loss with the deployment of their parents. For some children a deployment means that for one year a son may not have a mom to come cheer him on at a ball game, or a little girl may not have dad to shower her with never-ending love. We know that no one person or one thing can take the place of a deployed parent; however, the month of April is the Month of the Military Child, and Fort Bragg is paying tribute to military children with several events, sponsored by the Child Youth and School Services (CYSS).

Deployment Specialist, Kajsa Blansett says celebrating the Month of the Military Child gives the community “an opportunity to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifi ces they make and the challenges they overcome.” This is important because “All children want to feel loved and appreciated when a parent isn’t there the community steps in to fi ll the gap,” she said.

The center has done several things to kick-off this special month. The theme for the month is “health & fi tness.” They have celebrated this by having a Volks March and by getting the children outside to plant flowers.

For the first time this year, CYSS is throwing a Spring Block Party. The block party will be on April 23, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., at the Tolson Youth Activities Center. The block party is free and open to the public.

“Throughout the day children and parents can enjoy activities, games, prizes, face painting, Palabar the Clown and much more,” said Blansett.

She encourages the community to support the event because it is a chance to enjoy time with their family and the free activities, as well as foster a partnership between the military and the surrounding community.

Blansett noted that “Military children face many obstacles unique to their situation, such as having a parent deployed for extended periods of time and moving frequently. Deployments and family separations can be stressful times for children.”

This month-long celebrated is designed to offer them the support they need. CYSS also wants to recognize April 28 as national Bring Your Child to Work Day, an event Fort Bragg is glad to be participate in.

On April 23 have some fun family time. The block party is available to military families and non-military families. For more information, contact CYSS Deployment Specialist, Kajsa Blansett at 910-396-4481.

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