Shannon Morell, an outreach coordinator and family resiliency trainer with Families Overcoming Under Stress, a component of Marine and Family Services, helps children write their names on a poster during a Warrior Kids Series event at the Marine Corps Family Team Building here, Nov. 30,
2011. Hosted by the Readiness & Deployment Support Program and Combat Logistics Battalion 1, the event focused on preparing military children to effectively communicate their feelings before, during and after their Marine's deployment. Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jovane M. Henry
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (MCN -
11/30/2011) — More than 20 children from ages five to
eighteen attended a Warrior Kids Series event, hosted by the
Readiness & Deployment Support Program and Combat Logistics
Battalion 1, at the Marine Corps Family Readiness Center
here, Nov. 30.
The purpose of the event, which has
been offered by RDS trainers for more than a year, was to
help children express their concerns and feelings for their
deployed Marine, as well as connect with others going
through the same process, said Tabitha Perez, a trainer with
“Our main goal is to help families identify and
express their emotions before, during and after their
Marine's deployment,” said Perez. “During this series, we
provide training not only for the children, but also for
spouses, to make sure everyone is speaking the same
The series, which is offered every other
month, is broken down into three modules: Parents and
Children Pre- Deployment, which provides pre-deployment
briefing and activities, Mid-Deployment Kids and Deployment,
which is conducted midway through the deployment and Parents
and Kids Return and Reunion, which prepares the child for
their Marine's return and reintegration.
is a vital piece to the overall program, which produces
visible results in the children who attend, said Katie
Perlin, an RDS trainer.
“We've had kids who were
acting out attend the class and make a complete turnaround,”
said Perlin. “A lot of the time, children have problems
expressing themselves- this series gives them the tools and
the know-how to communicate effectively.”
event, children were given a presentation by a
representative from the Family Overcoming Under Stress
Project, a component of Marine and Family Programs.
With the help of F.O.C.U.S., each child learned how to use a
journal and “feeling thermometer” to help identify and
communicate their mood to those around them.
Instructing children on how to share their feelings,
especially during a deployment, helps not only the child,
but the entire military community as a whole, said Scott
Becherer, an RDS trainer.
“If we can teach just one
child how to deal with their feelings, and they pass that
knowledge onto another child who's going through the same
thing, then our entire community is benefiting,” said
In addition to assisting those on the home
front, the program also benefits the deployed Marine
throughout their time away from their family, said Perez.
“When a family is participating in this program, the
Marine can keep their mind focused on the mission because
they know their child and spouse are being taken care of
emotionally,” said Perez. “It really does provide peace of
Each participant walking away with tools and
resources to cope with their Marine being gone is the
personal goal of each of the three RDS trainers.
want children and their parents to walk away knowing that
they are not alone,” said Perlin. “There are resources and a
network of people here to assist and support them until
their Marine is safely home.”
More photos available below
By USMC Cpl. Jovane M. Henry
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Marine Corps News
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