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College of Human Ecology

Military families institute documentary to air on Kansas Public TV

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A new documentary that captures how deployment affects the families of military reservists will air on public television stations in Topeka and Wichita starting Dec. 17.

"On Our Behalf: Supporting Guard and Reserve Families" looks at how deployment affects the families of some reservists who have been activated in support of U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other countries. The film, about the sacrifices of citizen soldiers' families, is the first project from K-State's new Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families.

The documentary will air on KPTS in Wichita at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17; 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26; and 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 27. It also will air on KTWU in Topeka at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, and 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28. The Bunker Hill PBS station broadcast the film on Veterans Day.

Watch the video

The video also can be viewed on the Institute's web site.

"This documentary highlights the experiences of war deployment affecting many of our family members, neighbors and friends," said Briana Nelson Goff, K-State professor of family studies and human services and director of the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families. "'On Our Behalf' provides a glimpse into what it is like for these soldiers and their family members. It is our hope that citizens across Kansas will gain an awareness of how they can help support these members of their community."

The film was initiated by Charles Smith, a professor in K-State's School of Family Studies and Human Services, and Ron Frank, a recently retired K-State professor of communications and video producer.

Kids are courageous

"Dr. Smith wrote a book shortly after 9/11, 'Raising Courageous Kids,' and discovered how children respond to adversity through characteristics of courage and character," Frank said. "That led us to look at how reserve families with young children are coping with the vast numbers of multiple deployments required of the current war."

Frank, also a retired public affairs officer with the Kansas Army National Guard, said that they chose to focus on reservists not only because of his background, but because the families of citizen soldiers don't have ready access to family support groups and activities like those of active-duty soldiers.

"The 30-minute program not only tells their stories, but highlights ways that families, neighbors, friends, employers and communities can help them become more resilient as their commitment to the country becomes greater," Frank said.

K-State's Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families coordinates the multitude of research and outreach programs that touch on the well-being of military personnel, veterans and their families after battle.

The institute has provided copies of the documentary to attendees of the College of Human Ecology Legacy of Excellence Events in October, the U.S. Department of Defense and other organizations working with military service members and their families.

Prepared by Media Relations

This article was posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009, and is filed under Family Studies & Human Services.