In every community, there are families who know a little more about what it means to sacrifice. These are the military families—the families who make the hard decision to trade time with their family to serve our great country. When a parent is deployed, and everyone is counting time until their soldier returns home, children, especially, can need a necessary (and fun) distraction. So this year, to support military families across the U.S., Boosterthon is partnering with Our Military Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in military families stay happy and healthy with activities.
But instead of me telling you how military families benefit from Our Military Kids, I’m going to introduce you to two Boosterthon moms who have received Our Military Kids scholarships and let them tell you themselves.
Debra Kerr is the PTA President at Rustic Oak Elementary in Pearland, TX, and received an Our Military Kids grant when her husband was deployed. Her husband, Gary Kerr, is a Lt. Colonel in the USAF/ANG and has been deployed 6 times during his 30 years of service.
Deployment is always difficult, but Lt. Colonel Kerr’s most recent 6-month deployment to Kuwait took the greatest toll on their family, especially their children. Debra says, at ages 5 and 7, their children felt the impact of their dad’s absence, but were still a little too young to understand why he was gone for so long. When Our Military Kids presented the Kerr family with a scholarship, both children were able to attend Zoo Camp, which helped break up the monotony of anticipating their father’s return. What Debra loved the most was that “it put a smile on my children’s faces and gave them an experience they could be proud of!”
April Getz, the librarian at Carmel Christian School in Charlotte, NC, also received a scholarship. Her husband, Major Jeff Getz, was deployed with the 203rd RED HORSE squadron (a heavy construction unit) of the Virginia Air National Guard. He was stationed in and around Afghanistan for a period of eight months, some of which was during the summer, a season precious to their family. “My husband always plans wonderful summer vacations for our family, so that summer was especially hard for my sons,” she said.
Our Military Kids stepped in and provided scholarships to the Getz family and turned what could have been a long summer into a time for their children to develop their interests. Their youngest son, Bryson, went to a camp at Johnson and Wales, a culinary institute in Charlotte, NC, where he learned from professional chefs and met other students who enjoyed cooking and baking. Their oldest son, Evan, was able to attend Aviation Challenge, a part of the United States Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. He learned teamwork and leadership skills with other teens across the country who had an interest in aviation. Mrs. Getz is so thankful for the program and says, “Our Military Kids gave my children something to talk about when they Skyped with their dad, and let them know that other people cared about them while their dad was away.”
We are very proud to partner with this great organization and we are halfway to our $25,000 goal!
Check out this video to learn more about the Boosterthon "KidFit Salute" initiative with Our Military Kids.