Sunday, December 24, 2006

I want to talk about this, but I don't know what to say

On December 27th, at 9 pm ET/PT, PBS will air a Prime-Time Muppets Special entitled, When Parents Are Deployed. It's aimed at the under-five set - a half-million of whom are waiting for a parent to return from an overseas deployment. That's the largest number since WWII. For many of these little children, particularly those whose parent(s) are Active Duty soldiers on their 2nd or 3rd or 4th tour of Iraq/Afghanistan, this is the only life they've ever known.

My friend M, who teaches at a primary school in this military community, tells me that they are seeing a "difference" in this year's kindergarten cohort. These are the kids who were born in 2001. Their lives are defined by OIF/OEF, by the relentless operation tempo that these deployments demand, by departures and arrivals, and by oceans of tears in between.

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