Thursday, December 28, 2006

'When Parents Are Deployed' Airs Tonight

It's easy to talk about war and 'supporting the troops,' but how many people really appreciate the sacrifice made by military families? For instance, did you know that an estimated 700,000 children under five are separated from a parent overseas in the U.S. military? I didn't. That's a lot of children missing at least one parent - and keep in mind, for many of those children, there may only be one parent.

PBS is spotlighting this issue today in a special program called, "When Parents Are Deployed." It's hosted by Cuba Gooding, Junior and will feature the Sesame Street cast, so it should be appropriate for the whole family.

The point isn't to be pro- or anti-war, but to educate people about the needs of these families. Still, war is a fact of life and children are often introduced to it via the nightly news, which can be just frightening or too inhuman. This show could offer a wonderful opportunity to explain war and the issues that surround it with little ones.

The show also discusses how families stay in contact. If you're a military family - or a family who has someone who travels extensively for business - this show will give you some ideas about how to stay connected. I particularly love the ritual where the father and son both say goodnight to the moon, knowing the other is doing the same thing halfway around the world.

You can check your local PBS affiliate online for times.

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