Posted by Myron Goodman and Beth Schwinn, DCoE Public Affairs on August 10, 2015
U.S. Army photo by Ignacio Iggy Rubalcava
Two of the middle-school boys in the focus group kept refilling their drinks. Others fidgeted. Chairs scraped and voices rose in multiple conversations. But when one boy said he was afraid that his father wouldn’t come home from his deployment, the room grew silent and the other boys focused on him.
“I heard about the fear directly from the little boy and I observed the immediate connection,” said psychologist Kelly Blasko, who led focus groups as the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) set out to create a website for military kids. “Our mission was clear: connect these children so they can support each other and not feel alone.”
Today, the T2 Military Kids Connect (MKC) website has received more than a quarter million hits since it launched in January 2012. Teen and tween avatars in camouflage gear share tips about coping with deployments, siblings or moving, and teen-created videos offer introductions to new military bases.