Air Force

April 18, 2014

Military children receive support during hardships

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Timothy Young
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. Mike Hodges, 99th Medical Operations Squadron respiratory therapy technician, holds a horse while Anders Steinhiser, Lomie G. Heard Elementary School 1st grade student, reaches to pet it April 11 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The horses were brought out to support the school’s career day event.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Long work hours, a career full of moves and family separations during deployments can make life stressful on not just a service member, but their children as well.

Luckily the Nellis AFB community is aware of the struggles children may go through in these situations, and there are a number of programs and systems in place to help with the difficult circumstances.

Lomie G. Heard Elementary School, at Nellis AFB, helps their students adapt to these changes by preparing them for future life changes offering them support during tough times and helping them strengthen the necessary skills to thrive at any future location they may end up.

“We have the Kind Program here, which is all about the military child and helping them learn social skills,” said Debra Faltinoski, Lomie G. Heard Elementary School kindergarten teacher and counselor. “Everything [at this school] is focused on our military children.”

Each permanent change of station comes with the challenges of a new house, new friends and new school. This can bring a certain amount of uncertainty in a young child’s life.

“When we ask the [children] how many have been to three or more schools, it’s always amazing to see how many hands shoot up,” said Sydney Knott, president and executive director of Horses4Heroes.

Faltinoski recruited the help of Horses4Heroes in order to help children develop social skills important for easing the process of acquiring a future friend after a PCS.

“We have brought our miniature horses on the base every week, and we are teaching the [children] from kindergarten to fifth grade how to make new friends, how to not be afraid to go to new schools, and other important life and social skills,” Knott said.

Joe Easterling, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer observes as Dominic Wallace, Lomie G. Heard Elementary School 1st grade student, operates the patrol car lights April 11 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The LVMPD were one of dozens of volunteers present during the school’s career day event.

“Working with and caring for horses teaches many important life skills. We believe that horses teach self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-confidence, they boost your overall self-esteem.”

Along with the Horses4Heroes program, the school relies on its staff to support children through their challenges with all these stresses.

According to Faltinoski, once a teacher is informed of a student’s particular situation, the school’s staff has the knowledge and experience necessary to support the student.

“It’s hard to be a military child at times because of the added stresses that they go through. It’s really important that we give them every possibility to experience things on base and off base and to know why their families chose the careers and career paths that they did,” Faltinoski said. “I am a military wife and my children are military children so really for me I look at all these children as my own. They are wonderful [children] who have to endure deployments. They endure all kinds of upset in their family lives.”

Lomie Heard has deployment groups where parents can put their children together in a group with students whose parents are deployed.

Second grade students at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School watch a military working dog handler demonstration April 11 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The 99th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handlers provided the demonstration in support of the school’s
career day event.

“We talk about how they feel about the deployments and what they can do to pass the time, when they get sad what they can do about that, we make calendars and send gifts at Christmas time to the parents overseas,” Faltinoski said.

One of the students in currently participating in the group is third grader Megan Levin.

According to Megan, her dad recently retired from the Air Force only to take a job in California assisting the Navy. Megan and her sister are awaiting the end of the school year before they go to join their dad in California.

“My dad comes home and tells us about what he does,” Megan said. “It makes me feel happy for the other people he helps.”

According to Allison Mesina’s 3rd grade teacher, with the correct support from the school, students can be as tough as their parents when it comes to overcoming military hardships.

“Our kids are so resilient. They have these extra circumstances, they have these extra pressures and stresses from their families that they have no control over, but they still rise to the occasion, they still do their best in school, they still make good friends and work well with their peers and strive for excellence,” Mesina said. “I don’t think they get enough recognition for that.”

For more information on military child support programs please contact the airman and family readiness center at (702) 652-3327.

Editor’s note: Horses4Heroes foundation is a private organization and has no governmental status.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

New inspection system taking form at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika With the new Air Force Inspection System taking form, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Airmen will no longer spend weeks and months preparing for a one-week inspection, b...
 
 
U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter

15 seconds: A rude awakening

U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter Airmen and their families hit the road every summer to travel and enjoy a little relaxation. When making travel arrangements that involve driving long distances, be sure...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Nellis’ newest mayor discusses hopes, goals

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, shares a story with a member of the 99th Contracting Squadron during his unit immersion at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 1...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard

Community outreach hosts Honorary Commander induction ceremony

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, speaks to attendees of the Honorary Commander Induction Ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 7, 2014. The goal ...
 
 

AF implements static EPR closeout dates, eliminates change of reporting

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The first in a series of changes to the enlisted evaluation and promotion systems announced July 31 will include implementation of static enlisted performance report closeout dates, or SCOD, for each grade and elimination of change of reporting official EPRs. Evaluation system changes are focused on purposefully evolving the enlisted...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young

Running toward better health, wellness

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young Senior Airman Ahlavatuah Garrett-Johnson, 99th Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller journeyman, finishes her Air Force fitness assessment at Nellis Air Force...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin