The following Letter to the Editor was originally submitted to the Washington Post from Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation President & CEO, Margaret B. Davis on April 21, 2015.
The Post’s April 17 article, “When veterans return, their children also deal with the invisible wounds of war“, addresses the important and often unrecognized sacrifice of our Nation’s unsung heroes – military children. By leading the research referenced in the piece, “Study on Children of Seriously Wounded Service Members” I’ve seen the struggles of Marine families firsthand. But these families not only deserve our admiration and respect, they need our support.
The study proves what the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has believed for a long time – military children are often the hidden faces of huge sacrifice. They face a unique set of challenges and struggle to adjust to a ‘new normal’ when a parent comes home with a life-altering injury. These hidden casualties of war have been unintentionally overlooked, but this is far from a hopeless situation.
In communities across the country, military families are finding new ways to cope with unforeseen challenges and organizations are helping them fight everyday battles. They have tremendous resilience, strength, and success – and they deserve our deeper understanding and support. Our research showed there are ways you can make a difference, such as educating parents about communication with their children; mentoring parents and children and offering peer-to-peer support.
At the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, it’s our mission to lift some of the burden off of military families by helping their children with a life-long investment of college, university, or career technical education. We have already pledged such scholarships to the children of Marine Cpl. Donny Daughenbaugh, interviewed for the piece.
My hope is that this powerful story is an inspirational reminder that the freedoms we enjoy come at a very human price. Let’s all answer the urgent call to do more for children of our severely wounded while also heralding the positive determination and resilience of military children – omitted from the article. View the full study here for more information or learn how you can get involved.