USO tour helps kids handle stress of military life

Comfort Crew visits Helotes school to teach coping skills to military kids

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HELOTES, Texas - The USO “With You All The Way” tour visited Bob Beard Elementary school in Helotes today to help military children learn to cope with a parent’s deployment, injury or even death.

The group calls themselves the Comfort Crew, and they say kids often have extra fear, anxiety or depression when they have a parent in the military.

Stephanie Pridell is one of the speakers in the program. When she talks to students, she relies on her own experience when her father was deployed.

"I had a special journal where we took pictures of what was happening with me that I would send him, so that I was able to see how I was growing up, and the things that he unfortunately couldn't be there for," she said.

Pridell said getting kids to open up, like she did in her journal, can help them face their feelings in a healthy way.

The program also helps teach other kids to be good friends to someone who has a parent who’s deployed.

“I’m going to look for if they’re sad. Maybe if they’re feeling disappointed, maybe I can help them feel better,” Macy Hildebrand, a third grader who attended the program, said.

That’s exactly what the Comfort Crew wants.

"What we're really trying to do is create a peer-to-peer culture where we don't always have adults fix the problems for kids, but we want kids to be able to help each other out," said Trevor Romain, a USO host and author who helped write the “With You All The Way” program.


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