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Research Articles

Vol. 13 No. 4

Engaging Military Partners: Supporting Connections to Communities

  • Harriett C. Edwards
January 13, 2010


In the current Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO), families and communities have been impacted by multiple deployments. This is particularly challenging for families that are geographically isolated from military installations and resources typically available near these facilities. Operation Military Kids (OMK) is a national partnership reaching out through Cooperative Extension and land-grant universities to support military families by educating communities about the challenges of deployment, providing age-appropriate activities for children, and encouraging communities to actively support family members as their soldiers serve the country. To ensure quality and effectiveness, OMK initiatives are required to establish and maintain state-level leadership teams or advisory committees. While involving these individuals at the state level is important and is a tremendous asset for the overall program, it is also one of the most challenging tasks for state project directors in each state, which makes developing successful collaboration strategies an important program component.