Edmonds Military Wire: March 4 summit aimed at military kids and families

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By Michael Schindler

The fourth annual Washington State Military Kids and Families Summit will focus on providing needed resources to military children and the people who support them.

The event, open to military families, educators, community leaders and the public, is March 4 in Tacoma.  Workshops include how children cope with deployment, transitions, and reunions.

“This is a time to recognize the military families need for support,” said Robbin Seeberger, Washington National Guard State Youth Coordinator. “Support can be as simple as being a friend to talk to or being able to connect with another student at their school who is dealing with deployment or the absence of their parent during a training exercise. We can take a moment to evaluate how we can each make a difference to support those who defend our country.”

Keynote speaker Scott Swaim is the director of Veterans Services at Valley Cities Counseling and will discuss the effects of deployment on children and youth. As a consultant for the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs War Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Program, Swaim is one of the foremost experts on military and veteran culture. Swaim served in the U.S. Air Force and is a Gulf War Veteran.

A youth panel made up of teens that have a military parent will share how their lives have been impacted by military life.  Conference participants will have an opportunity to ask the teens questions about their experiences.

The event is open to anyone interested in understanding and supporting military children. Online registration is $10 per military family or community member and $20 per professional. Onsite registration increases by $5 the day of the event. Lunch and refreshments are included. The conference takes place from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Elks Lodge 142, located at 2114 Tacoma Ave. S. in Tacoma. To register or get more information, visit http://4h.wsu.edu/omk/.

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