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Top 10 things military teens want you to know

PHOENIX -- Teens of military families know firsthand the realities of war--and they want their teachers and peers to know what they go through.

They worry. Their emotions take a tremendous toll.

To help teachers, coaches and others who work with teens recognize and learn how to respond to these feelings, the National Military Family Association and TriWest Healthcare Alliance developed a toolkit titled, "Top 10 things military teens want you to know."

"Lengthy, and often times, multiple deployments cause pressure and tension on military youth," said David J. McIntyre, Jr., TriWest President and CEO.  "Many feel like no one can relate to what they are going through.  This toolkit explains how those in the lives of military teens can understand, support and encourage them."

Each toolkit features 10 cards with tips and resources on topics such as deployment, community, transition and belonging. The top 10 things military teens want you to know are that they are proud of their parents, think about the war often, move around, take on extra responsibilities, appreciate recognition of their family's service, value diversity, miss their parents, are like other teens, and they serve too.

"Military teens worry if their parent's deployment will be extended, if mom or dad will be different when they come home, if they come home, and how soon they will move again," said NMFA COO Joyce Raezer.  "They're overwhelmed taking care of younger brothers and sisters."

Information included in the toolkit was compiled from survey results of 17,000 military kids during Operation Purple Camps, a national summer camp program for children of deployed service members. The responses are the result of one open-ended question about military life.