Kansas

When National Guard, Army Reserve and other military parents living in civilian communities are mobilized, their children have unique needs for special support and services. Now they are “military kids” but they still look the same to teachers, friends and the rest of the community. Their lives are turned upside down! Many of their usual support systems may no longer be adequate. That is why an Operation: Military Kids Team was formed.

Kansas Operation: Military Kids provides support for military kids through the following elements:

1. Hero Packs
Hero Packs are given to military kids who have a loved one deployed to thank them for their service and courage. The packs are distributed at various events, including day camps, retreats and other youth activities.

2. Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK)
SOMK is a speaker’s bureau where youth are given the opportunity to speak out about having a loved one deployed. Retreats are held throughout the year to train youth to speak out and to allow them to have fun with other military youth. SOMK participants are available to speak at various events, including school functions, scout meetings, etc. 

3. Mobile Technology Lab (MTL)
The MTL is a computer lab that travels the state and is available at events for military kids to stay connected to their deployed loved one.  The MTL is can be used in a variety of ways, including to create Zoom Albums, videos to email or DVDs to send to their deployed loved one, greeting cards and more. 

4. Youth Activities
OMK holds many youth activities throughout the year to provide support for military kids.  You can find OMK holding day camps, workshops, military family days, and many others.  Activities may include using the MTL, making crafts, playing games, having fun in a classroom, and a variety of other activities that allow kids to grow and learn. 

5. Ready, Set, Go! Training
Professionals around the state go out to community groups, schools and conferences to help build awareness around the issues that military youth face.  At these trainings participants learn about the deployment cycle, how kids are affected by deployment and ways that they can help support military youth.