What’s it like to be a military kid – one who worries about the safety of parents who may be living halfway across the world for months at a time?
We can try to understand their situations, but no one really “gets it” except the kids themselves. Most military children do not live on or near an installation, which makes it that much harder for them to connect with other kids who also have a parent serving. Operation Purple® camps were specially designed to help military kids cope while their parents are deployed.
Since 2004, many generous Americans have helped send more than 51,000 military kids to Operation Purple camps.
Getting a break from war, finding friends to confide in, and having some fun to offset the extra responsibilities in their complicated young lives. Operation Purple camps bring amazing experiences to the lives of our military kids.
Although their parents are the ones who are exposed to hostile environments, it’s the kids who bear the stress of uncertainty – wondering when the separation will end, whether mom or dad are safe, and whether they’re going to come home “the same.”
While at camp, kids get to do everything from kayaking and hiking, to archery and horseback riding. They participate in military-based activities, like hide-and-seek while wearing night-vision goggles, or exploring Humvees and helicopters.
But most importantly, they get the opportunity to make friends with kids who know everything they are going through – kids who are just like them.
Here are a few words about the camps from the kids themselves:
“It’s helped me get away from all the stress in my life and be able to make friends who understand me.” –Kaitlin, age 8
“I made amazing friends and was able to talk to other kids about deployment. It truly brings kids closer and helps us understand we are not alone. I love OPC… it makes me feel like people truly care.” – Emma , age 11
“Camp has taught me that I’m not the only child having a hard time while my dad is gone.” –Johnathan, age 7
And one from mom, too:
“Before camp, our children never considered how much they’re appreciated for giving up their dad to serve our country. This program gave them a much needed reward for their sacrifice.” -Suzanne, Mom of camper
Just one camp experience can change a child’s life forever. Please help us make a difference in the life of a military child.
Remember, military kids serve, too. Help support them by donating today!
Posted by Caroline Rasmus, Development and Membership Manager