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November 11, 2013

Veterans Day: Military Kids from Bahrain Share Their Experiences

On Veterans Day, Americans celebrate the men and women in uniform who work every day to keep the country safe. But while military personnel make great sacrifices to do their job, leaving their families for long periods at a time, putting themselves in harm’s way and frequently moving far from home, their families make sacrifices as well.

To honor veterans and current members of the U.S. armed services, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs reached out to students living on a military base in Bahrain to ask them how their parents’ careers have affected their lives.

“We get to go to new places and different places that some people might not even heard of,” said fourth-grader Levi Jones.

“I get to travel around the world, and I learn a bunch of new languages,” said fifth-grader Aaliyah Freeman. “I speak German, French, Italian, and now I’m learning Arabic since I just moved here.

However, with all the moving, many studenst described the hardship of leaving their home and their friends behind.

“I have to basically start a new life in a different country,” said fifth-grader Izabella Crawford. “And when I do it’s really hard.”

Micyah Watkins explained, “My mom goes away on a ship for at least about two or three years.”

“Everyone’s going through the same thing, we’re all military kids,” said high school senior Brandy Oliver.

Warm up questions
  1. Have you ever moved to a new place? Was it nearby or across the globe? What were the challenges of moving to a new place?
  2. What is the longest amount of time that you have been away from your parent(s) or caregivers?
  3. What is Veterans Day? Who and what are we honoring on this day?
  4. Do you know anyone who has fought for the United States in a war? What do you know about their experience?
Discussion questions
  1. Why are students and their military families living in Bahrain?
  2. What are some of the risks and benefits of living in a military family?
  3. How would you describe the character of the students you saw in the video?
  4. If your parent(s) or caregivers were in the military and needed to move to a new country how do you think you would deal with it?
  5. What do you think is the best way to honor veterans on Veterans Day?
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