‘Military brat’ helps create Web forum for other kids
July 11, 2009
Katie Glenn has helped create a way for other "military brats" like her to cope with having a parent deployed or losing a mother or father in war, and it is only a click away in cyberspace.
Glenn, 20, worked with the nonprofit Families United to create www.militarykidsblog.com, which is targeted at children of deployed troops, or those who have lost a parent in Afghanistan or Iraq. The site went up a few weeks ago as a forum for servicemembers’ children to share their experiences and feelings, Glenn and Families United officials said.
"I love it so far. I have been reading the different posts that have been going up," Glenn said. "I can identify with a lot of it. Sometimes it feels safer to talk to someone you can’t see or you feel better when you write it down."
Glenn speaks from experience when she says she felt the site was needed. The print journalism major is the daughter of Army Col. Charlie Glenn, who is deployed to Iraq. She said her father has deployed downrange several times, so she knows all too well how deployment affects the lives of servicemembers’ children.
Katie Glenn, a senior at American University in Washington, D.C., said the blog started as an idea she got after taking a new-media class.
Brian Wise, Families United executive director, said as far as he knows the blog is the first of its kind, and a Google search seems to back his claim.
Katie Glenn is a former intern with the nonprofit organization, which helps military families by providing charitable support and educational programs, among other activities. When she approached Families United officials with her idea, they thought it was fantastic and got the blog up and running quickly, Wise said.
"It has become something that these kids are starting to rally around and they are starting to talk back and forth," Wise said. "They are sharing very personal and emotional experiences about what life is like (with a parent deployed)."
Glenn and Families United officials said the encouraging response has them thinking that the site could become more than just an outlet for servicemembers’ children to let loose about what they are going through.
Transforming the site into something like Facebook for military children to interact with each other more and create profiles is one idea, Wise said. There are also plans to post information about scholarships and other educational benefits available to military children, he said.
"I would love to eventually do photos," Glenn said. "If people want to do podcasts or video submissions, I think the social networking aspect has a lot of potential."
"We want to hear from the kids what they want us to do with it," Wise said.