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Recognizing support for military children

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy | Marine Aircraft Group 31 | October 6, 2015

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Military children have to deal with frequent moves, deployed parents, and reintegration of their family members after deployment. All of these factors can be stressful and confusing to children.

            Students aboard the Laurel Bay hosing community were visited by someone who understands their struggles and wants to help. Trevor Romain presented his “We’re With You All The Way” educational performance at Bolden Elementary School Oct. 5. 

“Our aim is to help military kids connect with non-military kids and we also want them to be happier, healthier and more confident,” said Romain. “What we do is give them tools that help them navigate the stuff that a military kid has to go through because they didn’t choose this life.”

            Romain is an educator, nationally renowned children’s motivational speaker, and author who tours schools for the United Service Organizations. Romain specializes in military children in recognition of the unique challenges they face at an early age such as frequently moves.  

“It can be very difficult for these children when you’ve just set up a group of friends, you are feeling confident, and, all of a sudden, you move to another place,” said Romain. “Often times, that is when kids fall apart. Basically, we give them permission to ask for support and let them know that there is no shame in asking for help. These kids need to connect with the people who can help them with what they are going through.”

Another issue among both military and non-military children is bullying. Students, who are confused or angry about something going on at home, may take their frustration out at school. Students, who are new to an area, may also become the victim of bullying.

“I feel that there is a higher risk for bullying among military kids because sometimes they don’t know how to release the stressors that they are feeling,” said Romain “Also these children are constantly moving around and may feel like they need to push their way into a position of popularity. When you are feeling insecure, you can be made a target like when you come into a new school and don’t know anyone else. We try to give children who are bullies and their victims an understanding of why they are feeling the way they are and how to manage it and get support. Most of the time, when kids bully other kids, it’s because there is something going on.”

In addition to presenting at schools around the world, Romain has a children’s show on the Public Broadcasting Service and wrote dozens of educational books. His passion for empowering children began when he first traveled to foreign countries and interacted with young students going through hardship. 

“I’ve been visiting schools around the world for about 20 years,” said Romain. “About 6 years ago, I met the head of the USO and I asked if anyone was doing a program like this and he said no. After that I started volunteering to go to elementary and middle schools to perform for them. It worked so well that we decided to make it a part of the USO programing.”

“We are thrilled to have Trevor and his team here,” said Kimberley Wiley, the school liaison officer at Bolden. “Students seem to be captivated by what he’s saying and responding to his questions.”

There is always support somewhere; children just have to learn how to ask for it. No military child should have to go through anything alone or feel isolated.

“When I ask the children if any of them have ever been in a room and felt lonely, most of them put up their hands,” said Romain “We need to have children respecting, standing up for, and being kind to each other.”


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