sApril is the Month of the Military Child.
From our neighbors to celebrities who grew up in military families, such as Jessica Alba, Priscilla Presley, and Bruce Willis, many have their own stories of struggles and heroism they can share. In fact, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, there are 1.76 million children and youth in military families in the country. Almost 80% of them are age 11 or younger. What’s more, they report that military children have higher rates of mental health problems, including psychological stress, depression, and academic problems.
“Military families, especially children in military families, need extra love and care from their community and from civilian families across the nation,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “Their experiences often leave them needing some additional assistance, and we are a group that is honored to be able to provide for them.
April is a time when we turn the focus to the children of those who are defending our nation. The EOD Warrior Foundation is an organization that helps the families of the 7,000 people in our military who are Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians. EOD techs have an extremely dangerous job, one that has them disarming and disposing of bombs, and often leaves them wounded, or experiencing issues including loss of limbs, burns, blindness, paralysis, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury.
The EOD Warrior Foundation helps children of these military men and women by:
- Providing a college scholarship program that awarded over $200,000 in scholarships last year. This program helps military children afford an education.
- Offering one on one support and guidance to outside resources that can assist them with specific issues they may be facing.
- Helping with emergency financial assistance if there are issues that arise and they need help. The organization has helped people with paying bills, as well as replacing household items following a home fire.
- Getting the family the mental health assistance they need, such as counseling, and inclusion in therapeutic healing retreats that the whole family may attend and participates in.
- Offering ways to help their parents with a variety of issues. When parents’ issues are addressed, they are more likely to be able to provide a happy and healthy home environment for the children.
“It is a privilege to make a difference in the lives of military children” added Motsek. “Their parents sacrifice so much for our continued freedom, helping the children in return is the least we can do.”