One of the frequently overlooked consequences of American military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq is that many thousands of children of National Guard and Reserve households are experiencing the deployment of a family member. Those children can experience problems coping with new family circumstances, new responsibilities and new stresses that are now part of their daily lives. A specific, critical need for Massachusetts is that many of our Reserve and National Guard personnel do not live on or near military bases. Instead, thousands of military families are scattered throughout communities across the state and do not have access to the same support and resources that are often associated with living in a more concentrated military community.
The 4-H Military Project connects children ages 5-18 with educational, recreational and social activities before, during and after the deployment of a parent. The project provides direct assistance to military children and families and educates the broader community on the effects of deployment on children to ensure that all Massachusetts military youth are safe, healthy, and supported.