BETHESDA, Md.–When children are faced with a parent’s deployment — or worse, a parent who doesn’t return from deployment — they encounter emotions which may be difficult to express.
Understanding this, volunteers from Lockheed Martin are helping Quicken Loans National spectators at Congressional Country Club — including many military families — assemble hundreds of With You all The Way Deployment Kits for military children this week.
The USO — in partnership with the Trevor Romain Company and the Comfort Crew for Military Kids — uses the With You All the Way program to support children ages 6 to 18 tackling difficult issues unique to growing up in a military family.
The unique kit helps children deal with deployment challenges and even establishes valuable knowledge for the reintegration process.
“This is just a great cause, and it’s so awesome to see kids — a lot of military kids, in fact, but others as well — coming in to pack deployment kits for other kids,” said Laura Stewart of Lockheed Martin. Stewart is one of many Lockheed Martin volunteers staffing the USO deployment kit assembly tent this week at the Quicken Loan National.
The deployment kit is centered around the “With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment” DVD, which was created as a collaboration between The Comfort Crew and the USO. The Comfort Crew was founded by humorist Trevor Romain, who frequently tours with the USO, sharing life lessons with military children such as how to deal with bullies, facing fears, coping with separation and understanding grief.
“I am a full-on supporter of the USO and what they do for military families,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Tyler Barnes, a military caddy who helped construct a deployment kit Wednesday. “I’ve seen all of the support here at home and downrange. It’s just a great organization and they do a lot of great stuff for the military.”
The deployment kits include:
- The animated “With You All the Way! Dealing with Deployment” DVD
- A guided writing journal with prompts, calendar, map, and activities
- The “With You All The Way! Dealing With Deployment Family Guidebook“
- A set of 10 postcards featuring original artwork by Romain
- Cuzzie, a plush bear for military kids
- A pair of imprinted dog tags to share with a deploying parent