/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Teens in military families finally have voice

For years, teens have been overlooked in military support programs Now a Bloomington teenager is helping to change that

By KELLY SMITH, Star Tribune
Last update: February 23, 2011 - 9:24 PM

http://stmediastartribune.com/images/173*260/1teen0224jpg
Kiana, Bruce Kelii
Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

When 15-year-old Kiana Kelii attended events to prepare for her father's military deployments, her choices were to sit with the adults while they learned about insurance benefits or hang out with her 10-year-old brother and other little kids while they bounced on inflatable toys or played video games

"OMG," she texted her mom after picking the little kid option "They're making us do a puppet show"

Nearly 10 years into the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, deployments are rising, and so is the stress on teens such as Kelii, who've been largely overlooked by military family support efforts that have centered on young children and adults

It goes beyond boredom, as Kelii's sagging grades showed in 2008

Now, as her father gets ready for his third deployment, she is more prepared, thanks to a new group she's helping to lead: one of the nation's first military support programs for teens

In between homework, driver's ed lessons and hockey practice, Kelii meets with seven teens from across the state in the Minnesota Teen Panel to organize events, including a first-ever summit in June to connect and support teens

"You don't always want to confide in your parents, and your friends don't understand it," said the Bloomington Jefferson High School freshman "We wanted to start something that connects teens"

With her parents by her side, Kelii spoke Wednesday at the University of Minnesota about her father's Army National Guard deployments to experts who work with military families and others who have examined the effects deployment has on youths -- an emerging field nationwide

Void in research about teens

According to military support groups, more than 15,000 Minnesota kids under 18 have a parent who has, will be or is currently deployed Among them are teens who are more likely to hide signs of depression, act out or become more irritable due to the stress of a parent's deployment
They're also expected to take on chores or other duties of the absent parent

"The impact is different for teens, in part because they can take on more roles in the family and sort of mask their feelings," said Angela Huebner, an associate professor at Virginia Tech who spoke at Wednesday's event

Huebner's 2004 study was the first time researchers talked to teens about the impact of military deployments, she said; before then, parents reported affects on children "There was a big void"

The continuing wars are prompting more work like Huebner's

U assistant professor Abigail Gewirtz is conducting a first-of-its-kind study on 400 Minnesota National Guard families, evaluating the effects of parenting resources to help youths during and after deployment If it's successful, the program will be implemented nationwide with aid from the Guard and the National Institutes of Health

"Guard families are especially vulnerable because, unlike families on a base, they're more isolated," Gewirtz said
"We've met families where both parents have been deployed a total of three, four, even five times How could families not be affected?"

'Nothing for teens'

After deployments, Huebner said, studies show that teens bounce back slower than adults do because they're anticipating another redeployment

"For some kids that's all they remember Mom or Dad being deployed," she said "They were never really certain it was done"

Kelii's father, an officer with the 134th Brigade Support Battalion, will leave in May for Kuwait with 2,400 Minnesota National Guard members, his third deployment since Kelii was 7

When her father left in 2008, Kelii's struggles with grades almost got her kicked out of an honors class "That was the hardest year,'' she said

This time, Kelii and her mom have notified her teachers that the stress of the deployment could cause a dip in grades Thanks to the Teen Panel, she'll also have peers to turn to who understand what she's going through

"We don't know anyone else in Bloomington that's a military kid," her mom, Barb Kelii, said "Now she has a network of friends from Shakopee to Rochester We're hoping the Teen Panel brings out more"

The group aims to get more than 100 Minnesota teens to a June summit for activities and sessions on how to cope with a parent's deployment

"We heard it all the time, 'There's nothing for teens, there's nothing for teens,'" said Amber Runke, program specialist for Operation Military Kids, which oversees the panel with the Minnesota National Guard "It really is a big push in the last few years on military families If the family isn't supported, the service member is not able to do well"

Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141

Article source
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/116784223.html



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.



Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Article archive
 
top