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News from CNREURAFCENT

NSA Bahrain Celebrates the Month of the Military Child

08 April 2024

From MC1 Shayla D. Hamilton, NSA Bahrain Public Affairs

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain proudly recognized the strength and sacrifice of military children by proclaiming April as the Month of the Military Child during a ceremony at the Bahrain School, April 4.
The proclamation, signed by Capt. Zachariah Aperauch, NSA Bahrain’s commanding officer, underscores the vital role these young heroes play in our military community, highlighting their resilience and unwavering support for their parents in service to our nation.
 
“This month recognizes the courage and the resilience of young people, like yourselves, who are part of military families serving around the globe,” said Aperauch. “It’s about recognizing the courage you had to move to a new country on the other side of the world; the courage to leave your school; leave your home; and say goodbye to your friends and all the familiar settings you knew so well. It’s about the courage you had to show up here on the first day of school, not knowing anyone, and open yourself up to making new friends and having new experiences. It’s about the resilience, to not only do well at adapting to a new environment, but to thrive in it.”
 
Throughout April, the DoD acknowledges the sacrifices made by the 1.6 million military children across the nation. Military families move as often as every two to three years, impacting military children through constant school and network changes.
 
As we celebrate the Month of the Military Child, I want to say to every student here, from the young kindergarteners just starting their educational journey, to our seniors, who are preparing to step into the bigger world and begin a new adventure; your story is one of inspiration,” said Aperauch. “It’s the story that speaks to the very best of what it means to be part of a military community; a community that knows no borders, and a community defined by shared values and shared experiences. Keep embracing your journey through open hearts and open minds. Keep learning, keep growing, keep showing the world the strength and resilience that defines you as a military child. Thank you for being who you are and for the bright future you represent. You inspire us all.”
 
Each year, the DoD joins national, state, and local government, schools, military serving organizations, companies, and private citizens in celebrating military children and the sacrifices they make.
 
While the Month of the Military Child is recognized by the DoD on a larger scale, families local to NSA Bahrain can find support through diverse services including Work/Military and Family Life Counselors with the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC), Child Development Center, various youth programs, and other military families.
 
“We have numerous classes available for military families, whether that’s educational courses on navigating finances and investing, life skills classes like anger and stress management, and parenting classes, in addition to the class that I offer, on Ages and Stages,” said Carolyn McCorvey, FFSC work and family life program supervisor. “Ages and Stages deals with looking at children through the developmental stages, focusing on helping parents navigate age-appropriate behaviors."
 
On April 29, military parents can attend the Ages and Stages: Parenting through the Years course, offered by the FFSC.
 
“It’s important for parents to have realistic expectations of their children’s behavior and interactions across the developmental stages,” said McCorvey. “Children behave differently as they develop and parenting styles that align with a child’s natural development milestones, are most successful.”
 
In addition to parenting courses, FFSC Bahrain offers classes to assist newcomers with learning everyday Arabic, survival Arabic, and cultural norms.
 
“When you move to Bahrain, there are major differences culturally, so we have two staff members dedicated to assisting newcomers with navigating the local culture,” said McCorvey.” “We also offer sponsorship training to ensure sponsors are equipped with the tools necessary to support incoming service members. If we don’t have the information here, we have an amazing pool of resources and referral services to point military families in the right direction.”
 
As both a father and commanding officer of an overseas installation, Capt. Aperauch shared his insight on the unique perspective military children possess.
 
“As some of you may know, my three children attend the Bahrain school and just like you, they have learned that home is where we are together; that cultures, languages, and countries aren’t barriers but bridges,” said Aperauch. “Bridges that connect us to one another in this huge world. Many of you are too young to realize it, but from growing up as a military child living overseas, your lives will be a mosaic of experiences that many people can only dream of.”

NSA Bahrain’s mission is to support U.S. and coalition maritime operations throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations by providing security for ships, aircraft and tenants on board NSA Bahrain and assigned detachments. NSA Bahrain provides efficient and effective shore services to sustain the fleet, enable the fighter and support the family with honor, courage and commitment.
 

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