Review from the School Library Journal

“The producers understood that children have much to teach their contemporaries about what has happened to them and their families, and have let them share their experiences, both good and bad, and offer advice to other kids and to parents.”

– Ann Brownson, Easter Illinois University, Charleston

Review from Video Librarian, July-August 2014

Currently, there are more than two million children of military families in the United States. In this documentary, 11 kids talk about what it’s like when a parent is away on active duty. The interviewees describe their feelings of being “stunned” and “devastated,” even when their parents downplay the length of a deployment or try to protect them from knowing too much about the potential dangers. The kids feel responsible for younger sibling and even the parent who remains home, and address the sense of loneliness that comes from being the only child in class or the neighborhood whose parent is on active duty. One boy says he hates when people ask him if his dad ever shot someone’ a girl says she didn’t know what to say to her father when he returned home. The kids here offer advice to other military kids” have faith that your parent will return safely, take a lot of pictures before they go, find constructive outlets for your anger, it’s okay to cry, and–heartbreakingly–don’t become too attached to your school or friends. To parents they say” spend more time with your kids before you leave, tell them you’re thinking of them, and find ways for your kids to socialize, especially with other children of military families. In other segments the children also touch on things that help them cope, and what they would change if they had a magic wand. The kids are generally soft-spoken; several appear pensive and shy. But they don’t want pity, just understanding. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by M. Puffer-Rothenberg

Review from Back on Land blog by Jodi Ubelhor-Strauch, April 2014

Wanna know how hard deployment is for me? Just ask. I could write a thesis on the cycle of deployment, the lonely nights, the lack of email, and every other terrible and wonderful thing about this life. (I kind of already have. It’s called … Back on Land). If you want to know how tough deployment is for your mil-kids, you need to ask them, too, and that’s exactly what Professor Child did for their latest “children teaching children” video. They asked eleven amazing military kids questions like “How do you feel about deployment?” and “what makes military kids unique?”

I’ll be honest … I wasn’t prepared for their answers.

I mean, I thought I was. I am a military spouse myself, and I do have three mil-kids of my own. I thought I’d heard it all. But really nothing can prepare you to hear a tiny slip of a girl quietly say, “It’s not very fun when he’s away.” It’s heart-wrenching to listen as these kids talk so openly about being different from all the other kids in school whose parents get to tuck them in every night or about their fears of never seeing their deployed parent again.

It also made me swell with pride as child after child spoke about taking care of their family, shouldering responsibility, and especially when one nonchalantly proclaimed, “We’re used to it. We can tough it out.”

I think this video is important for all military moms and dads to watch. I think we all need a reminder of how deployment affects our kids, and what better way to get that information and those beautiful insights than from mil-kids themselves!

Who should watch this video? Military moms and dads … and grandparents … and aunts and uncles … and neighbors … and family friends. Our mil-kids are amazing and resilient, but they need us to be there for them and in a BIG way.

The complete review can be read at:


Review from the Corner on Character blog by Barbara, March 2014

Service & Sacrifice

As you may know, I have a soft spot in my heart for the military.

Every year, we support a group of men and women who are deployed and serving on active duty away from home through our Supplies for Our Soldiers project. A few times we’ve actually Skyped with the soldiers as they open our care packages and thank-you notes. Sometimes, the troops send pictures. We love knowing that our gratitude will ease their burden …if only for a bit.

Sometimes we get notes back, like this one from early January:

Greetings from Afghanistan!

I just got your package of goodies today. I’m glad we decided to check mail today (even though it usually only comes in on Thursdays). Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do that for me. It truly brought tears to my eyes to know that your whole class participated in putting together the package. The letters that they wrote remind me of my own daughter’s writing (she’s 8 and in 3rd grade).

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and blessed New Year! Again, thank you so much for your package of goodies.  I will be sure to share them with the rest of my team.

First, this soldier is a mom. On deployment. In Afghanistan. Can you imagine? Second, it’s humbling that she’s thanking us, for something so small, when her gift to us is ginormous! Then, we find out that she’s got a daughter in the third grade. Quite common, I’m sure, but so hard for me to fathom. That’s why I can’t help but get jazzed when there’s a new resource
for Children of Military Families.

Because it’s their service and sacrifice that often goes unnoticed and unrecognized.

Service and sacrifice never sounded so real …watch for yourself … prepare to feel their stories.

Honestly and quite candidly, these precious children share their feelings, give advice to peers as well as to parents, tell us what they’d do if they had a magic wand, and describe themselves and their experience. And it’s a powerful 46 minutes!

Share it with the military kids on your campus to validate their experience and with the others to elevate empathy.

There’s even a free workbook download available.

On a related note, congratulations to our friends at Professor Child for their award-winning Children & Grief DVD. Click {here} to see the American Library Association’s prestigious list of 2014 Notable Children’s Videos.

Review from Chanity Creech from the blog her blog

My husband was deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months (May 2009 – May 2010), and during that year he missed our son’s 2nd year of life. Of course, there has been a countless amount of trainings and schools that he has been to since then to add to the time away from the kids. We know from experience that deployments and separations are hard. Really hard. A parent leaving for a long period of time is not something that you can easily explain or justify to your child/ren, no matter their age. Children are receptive of everything going on around them. Never underestimate how your child will cope because of their age. I’ll never forget one of the most heartbreaking moments I’ve ever experienced in my life was finding my son hiding under the kitchen table at my mom’s house crying for his daddy. He was only 1 year old. I can’t imagine the emotions that would come if we had to go through another deployment now that he is 5 and has a sister that is 1.

I would have loved to have a resource like this when we went through deployment. (Even though my son was much younger at the time than the children in the film, I think it would have been beneficial to me as a parent.) I would recommend it to any family that is currently going through deployment or that will be going through one in the near future. Actually, if you’re a military family period – just watch it. We don’t plan deployments so this film could be helpful to anyone at anytime. The approach that Professor Child takes is amazing. Who better to tell you about the emotions and fears of children going through deployment than children themselves?

I really enjoyed listening to the children answer different questions in the only way that children know how, candidly and vulnerably. It made me emotional to hear some of the quotes from the children, because all I could think about was how many kids actually feel this way but never share their emotions with anyone?

One child says, “I really want people to know and feel the pain and, like, suffering that you have to go to and the sadness and everything. I would pretty much say that it is very hard and it can hurt inside.”

Another says, “The number one worry going all through out our family is – is he going to get hurt? Is he going to die?”

When asked to give advice to other children one child says, “The advice that I would give to other kids is they’ll be back sooner than you think and it’s okay to cry.”

I truly feel like there would be nothing more comforting to a child than hearing another child say aloud what he/she is feeling and may be too scared or ashamed to talk about. This film goes through the good and the bad and will leave your child filled with hope. There will never be an easy fix when it comes to dealing with children and deployments, but as an Army wife and mother of 2 – I can guarantee that this will be a resource that we use for the future.