CBS News: The difficult challenges for military kids

2:27 PM, Nov 9, 2011   |    comments
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Cranston, Rhode Island -- It's tough for anyone who hasn't been in the military to understand the hardships involved in overseas duty.  And it's just as easy to overlook the sacrificed of military families--especially the children.

Sgt. Dirk Santinallo is heading to Afghanistana next month.  His deployment preparations include making sure his daughter Molly is ready too.

"Me and my mom are going to try to stay calm about this," said Molly.  "Because the more we get sad the more harder its going to be fore him to get focused while he's away because he will be thinking about it. And it will be harder for him to train and fight."

Right now 214,000 American servicemembers are deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and their supporting missions.  194,000 children have been left behind on the homefront.

Opepration Military Kids is an Army-sponsored program to help support the children of deployed service members.  Its goal is to give children skills to help them cope.

"Scrapbooking, writing in a journal, anything that gets a child to refect on what they are going through and compose themselves," said Pam Martin of Operation Military Kids. "It's like a deposit in their emotional bank."

Operation Military Kids has a Florida chapter.  Click here to go to its website.

Michelle Miller, CBS News

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