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Missouri Operation: Military Kids supporting military children with Hero Packs


Missouri Operation: Military Kids provides a support network for children who have parents in the military and are living in civilian communities, and encourages children to join 4-H clubs and other organizations in their communities. Operation: Military Kids has resources for parents, schools and community organizations to foster resiliency in military children. Fostering resiliency necessitates connecting military families to the greater communities (e.g., others in their communities and other military families across the state, country and world). It is vital to provide a means of open discussion and provide ways to honor the military families. A caring, compassionate, consistent adult in a child’s life is one of the most significant factors in supporting a child. There are children in every county of Missouri who have been affected by loved ones being deployed. A map with the approximate numbers can be found online at


April is Month of the Military Child and Missouri Operation: Military Kids is conducting a statewide Hero Pack Drive. A Hero Pack is presented to the military child from a caring adult or youth in their community. We are receiving hundreds of requests for Hero Packs and 4-H youth, 4-H leaders, Family Readiness Leaders, school counselors, and American Legionnaires have presented Hero Packs. Please consider assisting us in our community service efforts to support these youth.


The most important item of a Hero Pack is a handwritten letter or card to a military child, thanking them for their family’s service to our country. Examples can be found online at


The following is a suggested list of other items used for Hero Packs:

  • Small journals
  • Small photo albums
  • Disposable camera
  • Note cards
  • Pens, pencils, erasers
  • Colored pencils, crayons, washable markers
  • Small books
  • Small puzzle books, activity pads or coloring books
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Small games, deck of cards
  • Bookmarks, stickers
  • Hand or finger puppets
  • Pipe cleaners, craft supplies, scrap booking supplies
  • Glue sticks
  • Bandanna


Please mark items or packages “For Hero Packs” and send items to:
Jon Jerome
Operation Homefront
5924 Antire Road
High Ridge, MO 63049


The drop-off address or pallet delivery:
5919 Antire Road (rear)
High Ridge, MO 63049


The Operation: Military Kids initiative is a partnership of Army Child and Youth Services, USDA National 4-H Headquarters and the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Program. Missouri partners include MO National Guard, Army Reserves, Marine Corps and Reserves, Navy Reserves, American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.


Operation: Military Kids also has military 4-H clubs on installations, which provide enjoyable, positive learning activities for children of military families. Through clubs formed around special projects or topics, military youth pursue hobbies or special interests, establish meaningful relationships with peers, maintain connections with deployed parents and develop coping skills. There are military 4-H clubs at Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base and 4-H programs on military installations worldwide. Since military families move frequently, having 4-H activities available to military youth where they live adds stability to their lives.


For more information, please contact Mary Jo Williams, Military liaison at 573-882-3226 or, or Joan Zeller, Operation: Military Kids state coordinator at 573-882-6006 or



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Last update: Monday, April 12, 2010