A purple experience: A camp helping children cope with deployments of family members

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Deployments have become an integral part of every Airman's career. There are more Airmen deploying today than five years ago. As Airmen are 'spun up' for their deployment, what is being done for their children?
It can be difficult for children to cope with a deployment. Luckily, the National Military Family Association has created a program, called Operation Purple, to help.
According to their literature, "The Operation Purple summer camp program was created by NMFA in order to give the children the tools to face these challenges head-on and with success. Through the generous funding from Sears, Roebuck & Co. and its Sears American Dream Campaign, the Operation Purple summer camp program was launched in the summer of 2004 and expanded in 2005."
There are 34 camp locations in 26 states. For more than 40 weeks, camps are held and priority is given to children who currently have a parent or family member deployed. New this year, children of wounded military members will receive special focus through the incorporation of mental health support into camp activities.
Operation Purple is a free camp experience for military children. Children receive meals, lodging and activities during the length of camp free of charge.
For more information, contact NMFA at (800) 260-0218 or visit www.nmfa.org.