FORT SILL, Okla._Students at Freedom Elementary banded together with crayon and paper in hand to show their support for deployed service members.
The 60 students piled into a Freedom Elementary School gym to put crayon to paper and show their support for deployed service members during a greeting card creation project on Nov. 2 on Fort Sill.
The two-fold initiative between teachers of Lawton Public Schools and Child and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counseling services was coordinated in an effort to provide comfort to overseas soldiers, as well as a creative outlet for students who are all too familiar with the stresses that sometimes come with tours of duty.
"Military Family Life Counseling (MFLAC) is a non-medical type of counseling and it teaches children coping skills, especially when their parent deploys," said Esperansa Wells, a MFLAC counselor currently housed at Freedom Elementary. "The kids can come see us and talk to us about grief and loss because a lot of times, you have those same issues when a parent deploys."
Wells, who plans to help implement three levels of deployment counseling services at Freedom, says some students who attend the elementary school are already experiencing the effects of deployment. Fort Sill hailed farewell to nearly 80 soldiers who departed for missions in the Middle East last month.
"For the kids to be able to sit here and share their crayons and make these positive cards with their peers, cards that are going to brighten a soldier's day, I'm really excited about it," Wells said.
In keeping with an organizational goal of "giving the military child and family no-cost support through difficult times," MFLAC works to address issues related to self-esteem, communication, life skills, anger management and conflict resolution through dedicated teams of counselors. MFLAC services are offered at several schools within the Lawton Public Schools district, in addition to Freedom Elementary.