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Month of the Military Child

Did you know that April is the month of the military child? This is a special designation that recognizes the sacrifices military children face for the freedom of all Americans. According to the Department of Defense, 1.7 million American children have a parent in the military. Over half of those children have had a parent deployed more than once.

Little Man is currently dealing with his Dad’s second deployment since he’s been born. Deployment is hard for a 4 year old to process, especially for one that has speech and language delays. All Little Man knows is that his Dad got on a plane and hasn’t been home in a long time. Of course, he gets to see him on Skype every once in a while, but it’s not the same.

Since his dad has been gone, Little Man has regressed in potty training and has gone through a season of major meltdowns. It took me a while to figure it out, but I finally realized that there was a correlation between Little Man’s meltdowns and the amount of time passed since he saw his dad on Skype. Once I made that discovery, I made more of an effort to Skype with Dear Hubby whenever Little Man was up and about. That made a difference!

On Monday night, I was in bed watching the OKC Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets game. It was pretty late…about 12:00AM. Little Man had been in bed for a few hours. The phone rang and I answered it on the first ring. It was Dear Hubby. A few minutes later, Little Man comes in the bedroom saying, “Dada?” Apparently, he heard the phone ring and was hoping it was his dad. I pulled him up on the bed and put Dear Hubby on speakerphone for the duration of the phone call. Little Man just smiled when he heard his Dad’s voice.

I’m sure that Little Man’s story is similar to other military children around the world. Please keep military children in your prayers!

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Candace @Army Wives' Lives May 2, 2011, 3:59 PM

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. My husband’s deployment was during my first pregnancy and the first 3 months of my daughter’s life. And though that was tough for all sorts of reasons, I can only imagine having a child who is old enough to miss Daddy but not really old enough to understand why Daddy is gone. I have nothing but admiration for the men and women who support their young families while their servicemembers are off to war.

  • Amber April 30, 2011, 8:35 PM

    I have many military friends and family and it has always been hard to watch the kids go through the pain of missing a parent. I pray your hubby gets home safe and sound, soon.
    My heart goes out to the military families and their children. We thank you all!

    • Tonya May 1, 2011, 6:12 PM

      Thanks for your prayers Amber!

  • Christina April 29, 2011, 11:06 PM

    So sweet that he got to hear his dad’s voice. My 13, 11, and especially 7 year old are missing their dad now, but it’s funny because my older kids, when asked about what it was like for their dad to deploy to Kosovo (they were about 6, 4 and 2) they say “dad went to Kosovo?” Or I will say to the 27 and 25 year old that this deployment will be a year and they say they don’t remember him being gone a year last time, and he was just gone 2 years ago. I guess that’s what it’s like when you grow up and move away from home, especially when you are brats and used to deployment. And all 7 of them are close to him. When he is home he does everything with them, but children are amazingly resilient.

    • Tonya May 1, 2011, 6:12 PM

      I’m glad that your children adjusted so well to your husband being gone and returning home. LIttle Man did well with reintegration for the first deployment and I’m believing that he’ll do well this time too. He’s a little clingy to Dear Hubby the first couple of days, but that’s normal and to be expected. Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog!

  • Alisa Hope Wagner April 29, 2011, 7:47 PM

    I am totally bawling! Your family’s trial reminds me very much of my twin’s family situation. Her 4 y/o son has language delays and regresses when his dad is away from home. His dad works for the Navy Reserves and is gone every other weekend. I can’t imagine how difficult it is with you having your husband leave for months at a time overseas!

    I am saying a special prayer for you and your beautiful little boy! Thank you so much for the sacrifices you and your family make for our wonderful country!

    • Tonya April 29, 2011, 9:48 PM

      Thanks so much Alisa for your prayers! God bless you! 🙂

  • Jessica April 28, 2011, 3:02 PM

    Your post is one I can certainly identify with. So heartbreaking. Our military children definetly need the prayers. Thank you for sharing this 😉

  • Heather April 27, 2011, 8:43 AM

    So sweet and so heart-breaking at the same time. I had the honor of making the pre-deployment meals for a unit that was preparing to go to Afghanistan last year and I will NEVER forget the heartbreak of seeing the kids saying goodbye to their parents. It makes me wish there was something more I could do for them!

    • Tonya April 28, 2011, 11:36 AM

      Heather, what you did was awesome and I’m sure that everyone was sooo thankful for those meals. Thank you for supporting our troops!

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