By Petty Officer 3rd Class William Andrews
VP-16 Command Service Department

For the Sailors of Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16) and their families, deployment is a struggle they may have to deal with at anytime. 

Unfortunately, the challenges do not end when the Sailors return home to their loved ones.

After a prolonged separation everyone has changed and learning how to live together again and function as a family, does not happen automatically. 

To help mitigate stress, Angie Scott and Amanda McClellan, VP-16's ombudsmen, have partnered with The Comfort Crew to help the children of Sailors cope with being apart from their parents as well as re-uniting with them. 

With the help of the The Comfort Crew, Scott and McClellan are able to provide "With You All the Way" deployment kits to children from ages 4-16 whose parents are deployed.

These kits include a journal, teddy bear, postcards and a comprehensive set of resources. 

The information in these kits also help children deal with the challenges of pre-deployment and deployment and establishes valuable knowledge for the reintegration process.

The Ombudsman know what it's like to be without their family due to deployment and take this program seriously. Scott and her daughter recently participated in the program for the first time and received a kit of their own. 

"My daughter, Hannah, wrote in her journal often and it really seemed to help," she said.

In the past 5 years, the Comfort Crew has supported over 150,000 military kids.

For members of our military and their families, deployment is a difficult obstacle to overcome.

Programs like the ones provided by The Comfort Crew make coping in a constructive way possible for all military families.

For more information on deployment kits and other resources, visit comfortcrew.org.