Report highlights stress military children face during parent deployment

    10:48 AM, May 27, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CBS) -- A new report is highlighting the stress military children face while their parents are deployed.

    Kelsey Skillman's dad Brad has been in the military since she was an infant. The Navy Officer is now on his eighth deployment. Kelsey says, "I haven't really known a dad who is not in the military so it seems really normal to me."

    Kelsey is now 23. She and her two brothers grew up worrying and missing him whenever he went overseas. She says, "It is kind of hard when no one understands what you're going through."

    A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says children whose parents serve during wartime are at an increased risk for social, emotional and behavioral problems. It calls on pediatricians to help families find resources. Dr. Andrew Garner with UH Case Medical Center says, "One in four kids who have a loved one with a wartime deployment will show signs of depression and one in three will have excessive worrying and about one in two almost half will have trouble sleeping."

    During the last 10 years, about two million children have been separated from a parent on active duty. Joyce Raezer with the National Military Family Association says, "What we know is that some of those effects become more severe the longer the service member has been gone."

    The separation also takes a toll on the caregiver at home. Military wife Jacey Eckhart says, "Things are a lot more stressful for that person no matter how good she looks on the outside."

    The Skillmans now have another loved one in the military. Kelsey's brother Sam is a cadet at West Point. Kelsey says, "They really love their jobs and it's for a really good purpose, that's just in them, it's who they are. But they also really love you too and they are doing it for you."

    And they cherish the times they're all together. Resources include Militaryonesource.com, Military.com, and the website for the National Military Family Association.

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