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Red, White and Blue Fridays #2: When Parents Are Deployed - Talk, Listen and Connect

Redwhiteandbluefridaysbadge_5 Welcome to the Second Edition of Red, White and Blue Fridays.

If you missed last week's inaugural post, no worries - it's open to everyone and you can leave your thoughts anytime you visit -  you can go here and find out all about the new feature that will run every Friday, here at This Full House.

Basically, our mission is to recognize and acknowledge members of the U.S. armed forces and their families and, hopefully, bring awareness to the ways in which we - the great and mighty blogosphere - can show our support.

Today, I would like to talk a little about helping families during military deployment - especially, households with little ones:

Over half a million children under the age of five are waiting for their active duty, Guard or Reserve, mother or father to come home - the most since World War II.

[resource:  When Parents Are Deployed]

Having to tell a child that someone they love is leaving them...well...it's NOT easy, I know.  So, I went looking for ideas and I quickly found myself visiting with a trusted childhood friend - Sesame Street.

Sesame Street Workshop and Walmart have partnered to create Talk, Listen and Connect:  Helping Families During Military Deployment, a bilingual educational outreach initiative, designed for military families and their children.

They are distributing free kits to military families with children (ages 3-5) which include a Sesame Street DVD, a parent/caregiver magazine and a child's activity poster.

Now, the website states that quantities are limited (they began distributing kits in August of 2006) but, the site does have some other pretty good features available online.  Namely, a heartwarming video featuring Elmo.

In the children's video, Elmo learns that his Dad "is leaving for a very long time" and - in true Sesame Street fashion - there are songs and video clips of military children, sharing their thoughts and ideas of how families remember loved ones who are away.

There's a scene where Elmo's Dad leaves him in charge of taking care of "a special toy truck" and show the little ways in which they keep in touch.

Another feature is another link to where kids can even send "Elmo's Proud" music video to someone special - something I think that Mini-me would enjoy sending to her Uncle Bud.  Not to mention, one that my brother would LOVE and be very happy to receive.

Personally, I feel that children from non-military families would benefit from getting to know the program, perhaps as an aid in developing a sense of understanding and empathy toward our soldiers and their families.

I salute The Sesame Street Workshop for their continued good work with children, over the years.

My parents immigrated from Hungary and my brother and grew up speaking Hungarian.  Sesame Street helped us to speak English, which was a good thing, and the program was (at that time) our neighborhoods' preschool education.

Talk, Listen, Connect a valuable program and a terrific way to open up conversation - do you know of a military family who would benefit from the link?  Please, feel free to send it (or, this post) to family and friends of the military.

Is there anyone you'd like to pay tribute to?

Not a problem.  All you have to do is leave your name, or their name, or link to a blog post (like I did in the example above) with one simple line:

"Thank you!"

Be sure to grab a badge:

The Code:

<a href="http://www.thisfullhouse.com/this_full_house/red-white-and-blue-friday.html"><img src="http://www.thisfullhouse.com/badges/red-white-and-blue-fridays-badge.jpg"></a>

It will link back to Red, White and Blue Fridays, enabling other bloggers to join in paying tribute to our soldiers and their families.

Checking out our Wall of Honor and see how it GROWS!

Regardless of the fact that you are a democrat, republican, liberal, independent, conservative, left wing, right wing, or a giant purple people-eater - WHATEVER -  wouldn't it be nice if we could ALL just...you know...come together and NOT be afraid to flaunt our red, white and blue....yeah...I mean, that's what the blogosphere is for...YES?

Any questions, or trouble copying the code, feel free to email Liz at:  thisfullhouse@verizon.net

Thank you for taking the time to stop by - support our troops, bring them home, treat them right - HOOAH!

© 2008 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

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