Children First:Operation Military Kids - KOTA Territory News

Children First:Operation Military Kids

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Operation Military Kids Hero Pack Operation Military Kids Hero Pack

April is the Month of the Military Child; it's a time when each branch of the military recognizes the sacrifices made by the children of parents who serve our country. In KOTA Territory Operation Military Kids offers support for military families year round.

With a two year old and a five year old Kirstin Stauffacher said her life is busy while her husband is deployed overseas.

"That's the biggest thing we've noticed is that it's just extra busy," said Stauffacher.

But Stauffacher said help from 'Operation Military Kids' makes her life a little less hectic.

"They've been great supporters," said Stauffacher.

The South Dakota division of Operation Military Kids, or OMK, helps support military families while a parent is deployed.

"We have 7400 military kids in our state which is about 100 more than there was last year. And 31.2% of those kids are in Pennington county," said Sheila Snyder, Coordinator of South Dakota's division of Operation Military Kids.

 Snyder said they offer support to military families in many different ways; including distributing 'hero packs' to children.

"When the military serves, their family serves too," Snyder said.

The backpacks are full of military themed items including coloring books, toys, and a letter.

"It's written by another child somewhere across the state who's a non military child and it thanks them for their service and what they're doing," said Snyder.

OMK also provides grants for military families as a way to help pay for activities for children during a deployment.

"All of us who've applied for it have gotten it and it helps as both my girls are in ballet so it helps support their ballet for a few months, so that helps a lot," Stauffacher.

But Stauffacher said most importantly, OMK provides moral support during a time when military families need it most.

"That's the biggest thing, knowing other people care about you and support you and are here if you need help," Stauffacher.

Snyder said Operation Military Kids recruits non-military kids to help stuff those backpacks.

She says it's a way for non-military kids to get a better understanding of what military kids are going through.

To celebrate Military Kids month, OMK asks everyone to wear purple on April 12!

 

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