What is Operation: Military Kids (OMK)?
OMK is a program to support the youth of guard and reserve military members. When National Guard, Army Reserve and other military parents living in civilian communities are mobilized, their children are now “military kids.” They still “look the same” to teachers, friends and the rest of the community but they now have new concerns.
Everyone is impacted by the Global War on Terrorism – particularly youth with deployed parents. Some of their usual support systems may no longer be adequate. Extensive media coverage of on-going military operations creates anxiety. These “new” military kids need to connect with other youth in similar situations. State and County Cooperative Extension staff, community agencies, schools, and 4-H Club youth are reaching out to military youth before, during and after their parents are deployed. This outreach effort is called Operation: Military Kids!
OMK is a partnership between Army Child and Youth Services, 4-H, the Military Child Education Coalition, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The National Military Family Association, American Legion, and other organizations servicing military youth.
4-H is a fun, educational program for young people, ages 5-18. 4-H has something for everyone — and anyone can join. 4-H has had a 10 year partnership with US Army to provide youth development programs on Army installations worldwide. Supporting military youth is consistent with 4-H’s commitment to citizenship and community service. 4-H members are reaching out to military youth to let them know that they are “Heroes” and their sacrifices are greatly appreciated. Through the OMK program, 4-H is serving military families in our own backyard.
Operation: Military Kids – How it helps
- Creates community support network for military youth “in our own backyard” when Soldier parents are deployed.
- Delivers recreation, social and educational programs for military youth living in civilian communities.
- Supports military kids coping with the stress of knowing their deployed parents may be in harm’s way.
- Collaborates with schools to ensure that staff are attuned to the unique needs of military students.
- Educates the public on the impact of the deployment cycle on Soldiers, families, kids and the community as a whole.