Camp helps military kids cope with fears

updated 9:48 a.m. ET, Fri., Aug 28, 2009

FOMBELL, Pa. – Thirteen-year-old David Rojas didn’t tell his mother how terribly he missed her while she was on Navy deployments to the Middle East, because he worried it would upset her.   Knowing her mother is under stress, Shania Jones, 10, does extra chores to help with her younger brother and sister while her dad’s away with the West Virginia Army National Guard on his second Iraq deployment.  “Deployment” is a word unfamiliar to many children. For David, Shania and other military kids who stayed recently at Camp Kon-O-Kwee in western Pennsylvania, it’s a way of life that’s become increasingly hard.   The camp session designed primarily for the children of deployed soldiers was one of 90 organized nationally this summer by the nonprofit National Military Family Association, based in Alexandria, Va. The goal is to have fun, but also to provide a chance for military children to talk with peers who know what they are going through.   Currently, there are about 230,000 American children and teenagers with a mother or father at war. Nearly half of all troops deployed in support of the recent wars are parents — most of whom are on their second or subsequent deployments.


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