funeral.jpgMy dad left when I was five. He did not die. He was not in a war. He just left. After he left I was angry at him and sad, but I did not have a grief camp. Maybe it would have made things easier for me and for my brother.  They’re probably very helpful and I am glad they exist. My brother and I  were just angry for a while and then dealt with other issues and then FINALLY went to therapy about it more than six years later.

But now our country has grief camps for kids, because of the Iraq War.  Great idea, HORRIBLE reason for needing it.

At Camp Good Grief, all the children are mourning for a parent or other relative who died while serving in the military.

“Age doesn’t matter. The grief process is the same,” said Vanessa
Gabrielson, a camp counselor whose father was killed in Iraq in 2003. “Every time I go, it gets easier, and I learn something from them.”

Some of the campers have never discussed their parent’s death.
Others describe the grisly details of war matter-of-factly. But being with children who have endured a similar loss provides comfort, counselors said.

More than 20 children ranging from 7 to 19 years old attended the one-day camp this past week in Salado, near Fort Hood. About 40 parents and other adults attended a separate survivor seminar,
also run by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

The nonprofit organization known as TAPS has held an annual children’s camp in Alexandria, Va., since shortly after the group was founded in 1994. It began holding camps and adult seminars nationwide last fall in cities near military bases.

The children and their parents grieve for family members who were killed by roadside bombs, snipers or crashes. Others lost relatives to accidents, illness or suicide after their loved ones returned to the U.S.

The United States should not need to have a camp where kids can
grieve because their parents died as soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We should not be in this war. We should not have started this war.

We need to get out of Iraq and as part of the money we pay them
to repair what we did for their country, maybe we should set up grief
camps there for all of the kids who lost a brother or a sister or a mom or a dad or a best friend because of this war.  I bet there are a lot of kids in Iraq who need a grief camp.

 

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