News: M stands for military families when Sesame Street comes to MCAS Miramar
Story by Pfc. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – The Sesame Street USO Experience for Military Families Tour stopped at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug 16.
Sesame Street has been educating children with it fuzzy furry friends for more than 40 years. Since the first episode aired in 1969, Sesame Street has introduced different characters in the show and its latest is Katie.
Katie, a purple-skinned orange-haired military child character, was introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, and is the current star of the Sesame Street United Service Organization Experience for Military Families Tour. The tour is a free show for military families and travels to 57 military installations across the United States.
In the show, Katie shares her fears and feelings of moving to a new place after her father, a service member, is transferred to another base. Katie shares how she hopes to help other military children dealing with this issue.
“I want them to know that just because you have to move, doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends,” said Katie. “There are lots of ways to stay in touch and it is exciting to make new friends too.”
Sesame Street friends like Cookie Monster, Grover, Rosita and Elmo also perform in the show and teach Katie how to deal with this change in her life.
“Katie is so nice, except she was sad when she found out she had to move away with her family,” said Elmo. “Elmo and all of Elmo’s friends made her feel better by letting her know that we will always be friends.”
The goal of the tour is to connect with military children that are experiencing similar situations.
“I hope they learn that they are not alone,” said Katie. “There are lots of military kids and families going through the same things, just like me.”
Many children in the audience were able to sympathize with what Katie was going through.
“Seeing Katie was the coolest part,” said Katrina Barlow, daughter of Petty Officer 1st Class Trevor Barlow, an engineman aboard the USS San Diego (LPD-22). “Katie will have to move to a new school, and my brother will be new in our school.”
It made her feel better to know that Katie understood how it feels to move and to make new friends, added Katrina.
Parents also enjoy what the show offered for military families.
“I like that the show was so relevant,” said Staff Sgt. Michael D. Kelsey, a radar staff noncommissioned officer with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 11 and Whitehall, Wis., native.
The military families of Miramar danced and sang with Sesame Street as Katie and her friends explained that they will always have friends no matter where they are.