Carri Darland knows military life is never easy for the children of those who serve, so she turned to Purdue's Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) to help reconnect with her kids after she returned from deployment.
Darland of Lafayette, a medic in the U.S. Army National Guard, says her two young sons participated in MFRI’s “Passport Toward Success” when she returned from two tours of duty in Iraq. Ben and Luke discovered there are many other children of guardsmen like them who face deployment challenges.
“When you're on a military base, there are a lot of children in the same situation,” Darland says. “Here, they're the only ones. There's no one else like them in their school. This program helped them understand that there are other kids in the same situation.”
“Passport Toward Success” utilizes a variety of activities and learning experiences to help children deal with the communication issues, stress and feelings related to military deployments and reunions.
MFRI conducts research about, with and for military families, and provides outreach programs to assist these families by working with institutes of higher learning, communities, and other organizations with whom they interact. Purdue Extension educators, located in every county in the state, collaborate with MFRI on multiple outreach programs.