Single Military Parents Overcome Challenges
(April 29, 2010)
Corporal Stephanie Kennedy, a Marine Aviation Logistics
Squadron 31 aviations supply specialist cleans her son off after finger
painting, April 21, 2010.
||MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC (MCN -
4/23/2010) — Many service members' strength come
from the love and dedication of their family
members. At almost every change of command, post
and relief or retirement ceremony service
members say they wouldn't be able to do it
without there family.
However, service members who go through divorces
or have lost their loved ones have to remain
strong while living a military lifestyle and
caring for their family.
“It can be difficult working around what the
military expects of you while taking care of
your children,” said Ligaya Lowe, the Air
Station's family readiness officer and
deployment unit support trainer. “When I was a
single military parent, there were times I had
to bring my daughters to physical training
because it was too early for the child
development center to be open.”
Parenting is hard as it is between making sure
the children are safe, happy, loved and having a
family care plan, according to Lowe.
A family care plan helps families make
arrangements for their children to be cared for
in the event they get deployed, have duty or
have to stay late.
“It is important to plan everything ahead of
time, especially if you're a single parent,”
Lowe said. “That way, when you have to stay
late, you're not stressed out because there's
someone to watch your children.”
Being a single military parent can prove to be
the parent has to work twice as hard to take care of their children.
Sergeant Christopher Bullington, a calibration Marine with
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, looks at his 6-year-old son, Caleb, at a
park aboard Laurel Bay, April 5, 2010. Bullington has been a single military
parent for more than two years.
||“It is hard to be a single parent in the
military because you have to be away from your
child a lot,” said Sgt. Christopher Bullington,
a calibration Marine with Marine Aviation
Logistics Squadron 31, as his son jumps up to
give him a hug before playing at the park.
“Between school and work, I only get to see my
son for about three hours a day, I'm still very
glad that he is able to live with me.”
Being a child in a single parent household is
also a challenge. Military children have to go
through their parents being deployed, being
without their parent when they're on duty and
having to make new friends each time they move.
According to Bullington, another important
aspect to remember when raising military
children is to keep them involved in the
“We try to get involved with the community by
participating in all of the local festivals and
programs that are offered in the Lowcountry,”
Some children struggle to understand why their
mother or father disappear for long periods of
time, why they have to continuously move or why
their parents wear the same ‘outfit' everyday.
Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge and
Skills classes are available for service
members, their spouses and their children.
The L.I.N.K.S. program for children helps
explain why parents have to go away to do their
job, how to keep in contact with them and helps
teach them to be proud of their parent.
“Families don't have to wait until they're
struggling to come to the
Welcome Center, we should be one of their first stops when they get stationed
here,” Lowe said.
Article and photos by USMC LCpl. Courtney C. White
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Marine Corps News
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