America Supports You: Dog Tags Help Keep Kids, Parents Connected
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2007 – A troop-support group in California is
working to connect military parents and their children one dog tag at a
In May 2004, “Dog Tags for Kids” embarked on its mission to provide
deployed military parents a tangible way to remind children that Mommy
or Daddy, sometimes both, are thinking of them, Rose Sliepka, the
group’s founder, said.
have sent more than 250,000 tags like these to their children as a
reminder that Mommy or Daddy is thinking about them while deployed. Dog
Tags for Kids, a California-based troop-support group, provides
servicemembers deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait with the tags
free of charge. Courtesy photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
in 2004, I heard a story about a Marine who sent his kids a package
from Iraq,” she said. “The kids were so excited to get something from
It didn’t seem to matter that the box contained only
adhesive bandages and sunscreen, the only things he had access to, she
said. “The kids didn’t care; it came from Dad,” she added.
tried to think of something we could send parents that (servicemembers)
could easily send their children,” Sliepka said. “The tags are the
perfect thing. They’re easy to send; they lift the morale of the unit
when they receive them; and the child has something to hang on to when
their parent is gone.”
Each tag indicates whether it’s from
Mom or Dad, the parent’s branch of service, and the year and the
country in which the parent is serving. They can even be engraved in
Spanish, Sliepka said.
Those interested in receiving a tag to send to a child back home can make that request through the Dog Tags for Kids Web site.
is no charge to the military or their families. Donations are used to
purchase the blank tag, chain, bag and … postage,” Sliepka said.
“Engraving, packaging, Web site monitoring … is all done by about 20
“This project doesn’t have any paid staff,” she
added. “Every 40 cents can provide another smile, so why would we spend
it on anything else?”
Since the group’s start, more than
250,000 dog tags have been sent to Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan for
servicemembers to send to their children back home.
dog tags are intended for any servicemember serving in those countries
to send to their children, Sliepka said they’re especially important
for children of Guardsmen and reservists. “We tend to forget that with
the amount of Guard and reserve members serving, their children are
often the only ones in their school with a parent who is deployed,” she
Dog Tags for Kids has recently become a supporter of
America Supports You, the Defense Department program connecting
citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families
serving at home and abroad.
Sliepka said she hopes more servicemembers will learn about Dog Tags for Kids through this affiliation.
exposure for this project means we may be able to empower more parents
with a way to reach out to their children even though they are halfway
across the world,” she said.
|Military Connection's Comments:
“Dog Tags for Kids” is a grass roots effort to show support for the troops and their families. The tags are small, lightweight and easy to ship. There is no charge to the service member or his family for these tags. The program is funded by donations. Volunteers at Dog Tags for Kids do the engraving, packing and website monitoring. The dog tags are then sent to deployed servicemembers in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan to send to their children at home in the States. The dog tags give the children something to hold on to until their parent comes home. Dog Tags for Kids is a member of the Defense Department’s America Supports You Program. America Supports You was launched to draw attention to the importance of supporting our troops. At MilitaryConnection.com, we take great pride in providing free resources for many of the America Supports You organizations, including helping them promote their events and news. We appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into making these non-profits work. Please visit our website at www.militaryconnection.com for more information.