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Written by Keri Rursch   
Friday, 18 February 2011 15:40

Operation Military Kids plans day of support and fun for local military families

The volunteers associated with Operation Military Kids (OMK) of the Greater Quad Cities believe military families deserve a break from the stresses of everyday life; and that's why the local OMK collaborative is hosting Exploring Egypt: Military Family Day at the Putnam Museum & IMAX.

While there is no way to repay military families for the sacrifices of service, OMK organizers are planning to give families a meaningful yet fun way to spend time with other military families.

Military Family Day at the Putnam Museum & IMAX Theater will be Saturday, Feb. 26, starting at 10:30 a.m. At a cost of just $3 per family member, military families will enjoy a private showing of "Mysteries of the Nile" at 11 a.m., followed by lunch and special hands-on sessions.

The afternoon sessions will give military families the opportunity to:

-          Prepare to reunite with returning service members

-          Engage in activities that allow families to better understand the culture of Egypt (where their loved one may be/may have served)

-          Explore the museum and its most popular exhibits

During the day, military families will also be able to learn about community resources, including tools provided by the USO of Illinois, American Red Cross, Army Community Service and others.

Who qualifies as a military family? "If you consider yourself impacted by military service, you're welcome to attend," says Diane Baker, planner of this event and youth development educator with the 4-H Military Programs.

"This event gives military families a chance to support one another," adds Baker. "And it gives the community a chance to show support too."

The Quad-City community is not alone, communities across the country plan similar events. In 2009, over 150,000 youth participated in experiences conducted by state OMK teams in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

OMK is the U.S. Army's collaborative effort with America's communities to support children and youth impacted by deployment. Regardless of whether families are experiencing deployment for the first time, the second time or another in a series of multiple deployments, OMK's goal is to connect military children and youth with local resources in order to achieve a sense of community support and enhance their well-being

To attend Military Family Day at the Putnam Museum & IMAX, military families need to RSVP online - www.extension.uiuc.edu/rockisland.


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