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Photograph of COL Keith Lemmon, Ph.D. with U.S. flag in the background

“Another issue that’s important for your primary care provider to understand …
just because your children are just now manifesting symptoms, it can be related to
something that happened two or three years ago in your military life — either a move or
something that happened to dad when he deployed.”

--Col. Keith Lemmon, MD, FAAP

Adolescent Pediatrician, Father, Chief, Primary Care Service Line, Madigan Army Medical Center

Are You A Military Kid?

For some military kids this is an easy “yes” answer but there are some situations where it may not be. Here are few scenarios to consider:

  • Parent was active duty but is no longer in the military
  • Sibling or other loved one is in the military
  • Child was not born when parent was active duty but parent is in Reserves
  • Parent is in either the Reserves or National Guard and they don’t live near an installation

What to ask...

Has your family moved recently? Military youth move an average of 6-9 times between kindergarten and 12th grade. Youth Resources on Moving 

Do you have a parent or loved one who is deployed or preparing to deploy? Depending on the current world situation, military youth often deal with frequent and lengthy separations from their parents or loved ones. Youth resources on deployment…

Do you have a parent or loved one who recently returned from a deployment? Despite being happy about their loved one’s return, many military families describe reintegration as the most difficult transition they face. Youth resources on reintegration…

Do you have a parent who is dealing with a military-related injury or illness? Reintegration is doubly hard when the family must adjust and tend to an injured parent. Youth resources on injury and illness 

If You See...

  • Common stress reactions such as persistent headaches, stomachaches, moodiness, etc. 
  • Significant changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating or coping with common daily problems or routine issues
  • Considerable or prolonged drop in grades
  • Uncharacteristic incidents of acting out or aggressive behaviors 
  • High-levels of anxiety or worry

How To Cope Worksheets

Click on an image below to view a "pick a path" story about a military kid facing some common life challenges for our military youth.

Helpful Resources

Department of Defense Education Activity: This school system is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Defense Department. The system operates in 164 accredited schools in eight districts located in 11 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Military OneSource: Service members, their families, survivors and the entire military community have access to Military OneSource resources anywhere in the world at no cost. Military OneSource provides resources and non-medical counseling via a confidential call line 800-342-9647 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world.

Sesame Street for Military Families: Sesame Street for Military Families is a free, bilingual (English and Spanish) website where families can find information and multimedia resources on the topics of military deployments, multiple deployments, homecomings, injuries, grief, and self-expression. The website has a section for providers to learn more about the military culture.

Military Child Education Coalition: This organization delivers programs, services, and professional development to meet the needs of military-connected students, parents, and professionals. Their programs include a Student2Student peer support program as well as educator trainings.

Revised: Wed, 11/27/2019 - 09:18