It is not everyday you see top defense officials with characters from Sesame Street. However, yesterday, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III and Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hosted a preview of Sesames Workshop’s initiative called “When Families Grieve.”
The PBS special program that was held at the Pentagon was a way to help children coping with the death of a parent move forward forward. The program incorporated skills that helped children move forward after such a loss.
Deputy Defense Secretary Lynn said, “It’s important to have the tools to help the youngest members of our military families deal with their challenges.” He believes the characters of Sesame Street “help us reach children in ways that they can understand. They also show adults how to reassure their children that they are safe and loved.”
April marks the annual Month of the Military Child. The Sesame Workshop is a way of giving support to the children and families to those who sacrifice so much. More than 12,000 military children have had to cope with the death of a parent in the past 8.5 years.
Gary E. Knell is the president and CEO of the workshop said, “What makes this program so unique is that we hear from the children of these families and gain insights into their thoughts and feelings about the deal of their parent.”
“This project, we hope, will help us bridge the gaps that might exist between military kids and children within the general public,” Knell continued.