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    Youth Action Council, TAG Meet to Better Lives of Military Families

    Youth Action Council, TAG Meet to Better Lives of Military Families

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Timothy Cordeiro | Tennessee Adjutant General, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, meets with members of the...... read more read more

    NASHVILLE, TN, UNITED STATES

    02.14.2020

    Story by Staff Sgt. Timothy Cordeiro 

    Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

    Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General, knows what it’s like being part of a military family. As a father of two sons who also serve in the Tennessee National Guard, Holmes can relate to children of service members and some of the challenges that military families face on a daily basis.

    “As a child you miss out on having a parent home when they’re away,” said Holmes. “And you certainly miss a lot when you’re a parent and you are away training or deployed.”

    This is one of the reasons he was eager to meet with members of the Tennessee National Guard’s Youth Action Council, a group of military children working together to make positive change in the lives of families affected by the National Guard.

    On January 13, members of the Youth Action Council met with Holmes to discuss their latest venture to improve the quality of life for military families. This time, they presented Holmes with a purple military child graduation cord, a device worn around a high school graduates’ neck while wearing their cap and gown. The cord will distinguish those graduates with parents who serve. This is just one example of the work the Youth Action Council is doing behind the scenes to improve the lives of military youth and their families in the state of Tennessee.

    The Youth Action Council is a branch of the Tennessee National Guard Child and Youth Program, which assists children of National Guard members to develop resilience, mitigate risky behaviors, and uncover their potential as future leaders.

    Lead Child Youth Coordinator Caitlin Vassar, who has been heading the Child and Youth Program since 2012, says the Youth Action Council is an important asset in bridging the gap between the military kids and the public.

    “The Youth Action Council is a group of spokespeople for the thousands of kids across Tennessee in their position that have parents or family members in the National Guard,” said Vassar. “Most of the general public doesn’t understand the challenges that come with being a military child and how hard it is to say goodbye to a parent for an extended period of time. We are working to educate and work with the public to improve the lives of these kids and their families.”

    The Youth Action Council is comprised of 14 young adults between the school grades of 8-11, all of which are sons or daughters of members of the Tennessee National Guard. The council meets quarterly, discussing new ideas to make positive change in the lives of military youth and their respective families.

    Vassar said having support from the top of the organization is important for the Youth Action Council.

    “The leadership cares about the military kids,” said Vassar. “Their willingness to meet with and discuss new ideas really makes a difference.”

    Holmes told the members of the council that they will be stronger for being a military child.

    “As far as my family, I know we are stronger because of what we’ve overcome as a military family,” Holmes told the council members. “My kids are stronger and more resilient, and I don’t know if you all will be able to pinpoint what values you’re getting out of it right now, but it’s significant.”

    Vassar, along with her counterpart Stephanie Miceli, are working to get the military child graduation cord into more school systems throughout Tennessee, and the Youth Action Council will continue to meet quarterly to come up with new ways to improve the lives of National Guard families.

    Story by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Cordeiro

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.14.2020
    Date Posted: 02.14.2020 16:22
    Story ID: 363235
    Location: NASHVILLE, TN, US 

    Web Views: 23
    Downloads: 0
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