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Katie, a military child, speaks to service members and their families April 27 about changing duty stations while serving in the military. The show a part of the Sesame Street USO Experience for Military Families at the Two Rivers Theater aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Unique B. Roberts

Sesame Street helps children cope with military life

8 May 2014 | Lance Cpl. Unique B. Roberts

Military life bears both challenges and achievements for not only the individual service member but their spouse and children. Through the course of a single enlistment, the average service member conducts a permanent change of station one or two times.

PCS is the movement from one duty station to the next. During the move, children are often leaving behind what they have built up over the last two years and starting fresh in an unfamiliar place.
The USO, in collaboration with V Corporation and Sesame Street Workshop brought service members aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., a fun interactive show starring their military child, Katie, April 26 and 27.

The Sesame Street USO Experience for Military Families kicked-off in 2008, and over the course of the last six years has been modified to assist families with children both physically and emotionally for their next PCS or deployment.

“Katie is obviously going through something that all of our military children go through, (changing duty stations), sometimes six to nine times in their lifetime and her friends on Sesame Street help her find ways to stay in touch with her old friends and find new friends,” said Nicole McClendon, the tour manager of the show.

During the production, Katie finds out her family is moving to a new place and she gets the blues. Saddened by the news she informs her friends, and with the help of featured songs such as “What I Am” and “Things Are Always Changing,” her friends help her through her rough time.

The show is designed to travel where military families are stationed and spread happiness where ever they go, according to McClendon.

“When one member of the family serves, the entire family serves,” said McClendon. “We want the family to know we are here for the entire family, not just the service member.”

During a segment of the show, the characters say hello in different languages to appeal to children of all cultures and ethnic groups.

The show is targeted to not only reach different cultures and inform the families about the change, but also say thank you for all of their hard work.

“The show is our way of saying thank you to our military families,” said McClendon. “I like to think of it as one live singing and dancing thank you card that we get to hand deliver all over the world.”

Just as McClendon enjoyed the show, the Cherry Point service members and families did so as well.

“The show was good, my daughter enjoyed it,” said Grety C. Moreira the spouse of Sgt. Rodolfo Moreira an aviation electronic micro/miniature component and cable repair technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14. “She stood up, danced and yelled, she loves Elmo and I think it was a good experience. The kids got to enjoy time with other military families who are going through the same thing. I would recommend it to every military family.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point