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Preparing military children for Veterans Day

This year, as I prepare to celebrate Veterans Day, I realized that I have done a poor job of educating my own children about veterans.  I've taken for granted the fact that we are a military family and so much of the history and traditions of the military are ingrained in how we live life.  I've also taken for granted the fact that my children see their dad go off to work every day.  They know a bit about his job and they see him dress in his uniform, but they don't truly understand how this is different from other dads.  When I asked my children to answer the simple question of "Who is your military hero?" They didn't understand what the military was.  I've taught my children to stand for the Star Spangled Banner and Taps.  They know to place their hand over their heart.  I've even taught them about the "sounds of freedom" so that they can identify when one of Daddy's jets is taking off or flying overhead.

To my children, these things are the norm.  They have yet to understand the sacrifices made by so many men and women.  I haven't done a good job of teaching my children about the pledge that these brave men and women have taken, although they've heard it repeated at numerous promotion ceremonies.  I haven't explained to my children the dangers and threats around the world.  Why? Because I want them to think that the world is a good place.  I want to protect my children.

But, by not educating my children about Veterans Day, I am doing them a disservice.  By not teaching them about wars, conflicts and the truth of military service I am also not teaching them about peace, honor, loyalty, and the greatness of the men and women who have chosen to take this pledge and defend our country. 

I know that a lot of the history of Veterans Day will be too much for my children to comprehend, but this year I will teach them about #thosewhodared.  We will talk about our own family and friends who have served or are serving.  We will discuss why Daddy sometimes has to go away for extended periods of time instead of just saying, "Daddy's on the other side of the world."

By explaining about war and military service, we are teaching our children about being a part of something greater than your own self.  And, by teaching them this, hopefully they understand the greater circle in which they are living by supporting their own military family.




This blog was not sponsored by USAA but supports #thosewhodared.

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