More and more children are missing out on the get togethers with loved ones due to the increasing amount of individuals leaving to the military.
Angie Vasquez, 5, sits alone during the lunch hour due to her definition of feeling “left out.”
She says, “I feel like so many other girls have so much. They have their toys, but most of all they have their dads and moms with them. I have my pictures of them, but I don’t think they can feel me wrap my arms around them when I go to bed.”
According to a survey done by Blue Star Families, 67% of parents leaving oversees and leaving their children behind sought to search for mental health rehabilitation due to anxiety from being away from their children.
Vasquez says, “I like that my mom and dad are taking care of America, now America doesn’t have to worry about bombs or guns, but sometimes I want them [parents] to come home.”
Like her, there is a 68% increase of indepence in the child, but is it adaptability or a sense that they too have to become young adults earlier in life?
Tomasa Flores, Angie’s caretaker for the next year or so, says, “I have nothing bad to say about the military. My son Jose was in the Mexican army, but I do say that it is different for someone as young as Angie. She is a baby. I reminder her daily that I love her. If I don’t, who will?”
At this moment, Angie Vasquez interrupts and says, “My mom and dad love me! They call each night before I go to bed and wish the bugs don’t come in and bite. I love you too, Toma!”
Flores hugs her close and repeats the words to young Vasquez and says, “I do not think I could of gone to great lengths to try to save the US and my child’s future all by herself.”
Angie says, ” When my mom and dad come home I’ll be this much old,” while sticking her right hand flat and one finger up on the left hand.
Dosomething.org claims “more than 900,000 children experienced the deployment of one or both parents multiple times.”
Cards, letters and gift packages once dominated the mail waves soon after 9/11, but increased mail restrictions make it all the harder to do so. For a family member overseas, communication helps bring them closer. Talking to them everyday or as consistently as possible helps in coping with their deployment.
Vasquez is proof that staying optimistic is the only way she will stay confident. She said, “Even if I can’t send my mom or dad a real hug. I sent a photo of me, when both my top teeth were out. I asked Santa to give me my teeth for Christmas and I’ll be waiting.”
She smiles and it becomes evident that her upper teeth are coming in by a fraction of an inch.
If your loved one is oversees, send them a care package to bring a smile to their life the same way they make you smile when you have a chance to speak with them.