Our Military Kids routinely conducts surveys of its grant recipients to determine the program’s effectiveness in helping military children and their families. The surveys also assess the psychological impact of a military parent’s deployment on the children of National Guard families, or the parent’s injury and resulting treatment. They also examine the effectiveness of the Our Military Kids grant program in alleviating deployment- and injury-related stress and anxiety.
For our deployed National Guard and Reserve survey, conducted in late 2014, we found most families live at least 50 miles away from a military installation, and they are unable to utilize support services available to those who live on or near a military installation. In addition, many children of deployed Service Members exhibited symptoms of stress that stem from the deployment. Most families report the Our Military Kids grant program is easy to use and participation in an extracurricular activity positively benefited their children.
For our Wounded survey, conducted in early 2014, we found that the vast majority of families have dealt with financial difficulties as a result of the injury. Nearly all would be unable to afford to enroll their children in activities without the support provided by a grant from Our Military Kids. Approximately 9 out of 10 children deal with increased stress when a parent is recovering from injury, and nearly all respondents said that some or all of their child’s psychological symptoms were positively impacted by the grant.
The survey shows that participation in extracurricular activities helps decrease stress and related psychological symptoms in children, allowing them to focus on something positive, thereby distracting them from a parent’s absence or injury.
TO READ THE FULL SURVEY REPORT FOR THE DEPLOYED PROGRAM, CLICK HERE.
TO READ THE FULL SURVEY REPORT FOR THE SEVERELY INJURED PROGRAM, CLICK HERE.
- “Our Military Kids program has been a lifesaver for our family. Our son was so withdrawn and depressed after his father was severely wounded in Afghanistan and had to spend a year at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD. Our son could not go to the hospital to see his dad except for when he first arrived from Germany because he just cried and couldn’t handle it. Our Military Kid helped him stay in the only activity he truly loves, ice hockey. He now is a junior in high school and plays for the Varsity Ice Hockey Team. Our Military Kids program is still helping us today and has taken a tremendous financial burden off our shoulders with their grant. We are truly and forever grateful for this absolutely amazing organization.”
- “Especially in PTSD patients, it is more difficult for children to understand how/why the soldier has changed. Without the visual change, children have a harder time accepting the sometimes sudden change in their parent or how they should react to it. And likewise, parents don’t always stop to think how this drastic change in behavior can and does affect the children. This grant not only allowed them to get time out of the house, they could focus specifically on something that brings them joy. The acknowledgment/presentation of the grant brought a certain sense of pride to them. It also brought a sense of pride to our soldier, who often feels his PTSD is mostly a burden.”
- “During the grant my son received for football, my husband stepped up and became an assistant coach! My husband was anti-social after his injury and could not handle crowds. It was wonderful to see him out there with his son surrounded by people. It has created a STRONG bond between the two. He wants to continue to coach and that is something I never thought would happen.”
- “I strongly believe that this program to some degree has allowed my children to grow emotionally from a deployment. They participated in activities that kept them busy in their daily lives without their Service Member and I’ve noticed changes such that they seem more confident in themselves. Thank you for the opportunity provided through this grant.”
- “There are a lot of programs out there, but this one directly addresses a need for the children in this country who sacrifice a parent for long periods of time. It allows them to participate in activities that families couldn’t necessarily afford and it fills the time with something productive and positive. It has benefited my family in numerous ways and I am so grateful.”
To read more testimonials, see the “Qualitative Data” sections of the survey reports.