MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Nearly 25 representatives from seven school districts attended Operation Homecoming, a two-day seminar that provides educators the tools to work with military children and families and explains available resources, April 24-25.
Attendees represented a range of responsibilities within the education system and included Military Family Life Consultants and school administrators.
The educators spent the first day in classes learning about difficulties faced by military children and options for addressing them. Some topics included learning to deal with stress brought on by deployments, combat-related injuries and available resources for educators and parents.
The following day, the representatives toured Camp Lejeune and learned about the day-to-day life of military service members.
The representatives arrived aboard Camp Lejeune in time to watch Marines raise Old Glory. Following morning colors, they headed inside the headquarters building to receive a brief from Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gorry, Marine Corps Installations East commanding general.
Gorry spoke about the challenges military children face, using himself and his family as an example.
Gorry explained that he had moved his family 17 times.
“Your kids follow you around the world. We have lived in Japan; we have lived in Germany,” said Gorry. “On one hand, they get a tremendous cultural experience by living in a lot of different countries. On the other hand, they get pulled out of environments back and forth.”
After meeting Gorry, the educators headed for the base’s Military Operation in Urban Terrain training facility, commonly referred to as MOUT town.
Following a brief on the purpose and scope of training conducted at the facility, the educators viewed a weapons display and got a chance to ask questions.
“For us, every month is the Month of the Military Child,” said Julie Fulton, Camp Lejeune school liaison officer. “It was a good way for us to get the educators to come to the conference.”
The event served another purpose as well, supporting North Carolina senate Bill 597 which requires educators to have training in working with military children to ensure they are using available resources helps students to succeed.
“We are supporting that legislation by offering this training and allowing districts to receive training for free,” said Fulton.