WCTE Shares Resources for Military Families in the Upper Cumberland

Last Updated by Kate Spears on

Would you believe that nearly 800,000 preschoolers are separated from a parent serving in the U.S. military? 

When we think of war and deployment, we rarely think of the youngest members of our military families. They often have a difficult time understanding why Mom or Dad needs to leave home, or how things might be different when they return.

For these children and their families, Sesame Street provides much-needed support and practical education with Talk, Listen, Connect, a multiphase outreach initiative to help kids through deployments, combat-related injuries, and the death of a loved one. Videos, storybooks, and workbooks especially created for this program guide families through these tough transitions by showing how real families — as well as furry monsters — deal with similar circumstances.

On this week's Get Ready To Learn radio show, host Cindy Putman welcomed Ron Rohrbach as a special guest to talk about some of these issues. 

Rohrback is the program director for Veterans Employment and Training Tennessee (VETT) and the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) with Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System. 

Volunteer Behavioral Health Care System was established to bring together behavioral health professionals dedicated to caring for our communities. Covering over 11,000 square miles in Tennessee, VBHCS provides a continuum of services to meet the needs of over one million Tennesseans. The organization's mission is to serve individuals, families and communities through prevention, treatment and recovery services, ensuring that help today leads to a better tomorrow.

Ron shared various resources for veterans and their families in Putnam County. You can find more information about these resources by contacting him at rrohrbach@vbhcs.org. 

There is a need for every veteran to receive the services available to him or her when leaving the military. Sometimes it can be challenging for our veterans to connect with the programs and services in their communities, but that's where Ron and others like him come in to help bridge the gap. 

Life in the miliatary and life as a civilian are two totally different experiences. Veterans gain valuable training and important skills during their service, but sometimes this can be tricky to translate back to the jobs they might try to get in civilian life. Did you know there are services available to help veterans transfer their military skills into marketable jobs in the workplace?  

According to Ron, there are companies that like to hire vets because they have a strong work ethic and want to work, but because many suffer from PTSD, mental issues, and other obstacales, their success outside the structured days of their military service may be hindered. 

It's important for military parents to have stable jobs as a way to meet their families' basic needs. But more than just getting basic needs met, when parents have stable jobs, children benefit in many ways. They are more likely to have good nutrition, and adequate health care. We know that kids who have the opportunity to grow up in stable home environments, where there is some form of routine and structure, do better in school and are more emotionally healthy as they grow up. 

Secure employment supports healthy development in other ways as well. It can alleviate parental stress, prevent depression, and improve family functioning, thus creating a more positive home setting for children. In addition, going to work can put parents in contact with wider social networks, which not only contribute to parents’ physical and mental health (Singer & Ryff, 2001), but also expand families’ access to information and resources that can help support their children’s growth and education. [via Annie E. Casey Foundation report

As moms and dads struggle to make tough financial decisions, home can become a stressful place for young children. Family values—spending time together, playing, and sharing—are harder to maintain. That's why WCTE, along with our partners, is committed to providing resources for families who might be struggling. We want to help get you connected with the services and programs that will help make your family healthier, happier and stronger. 

When parents transition, so do kids. It's a new adventure...and all adventure stories have a hero. They also have ups and downs. But with the help of community partners, and programs and initiatives created especially for our military families, your little hero can find the strength to "go with the flow" -- and have fun along the way. 

Explore more resources for military families by visiting some of these links: 

Check out some of these great resources about deployments and homecomings, as well as other issues affecting military families. 

Check out some ways to weather the economic challenges that bring things like job changes, lay-offs, or unemployment. 

Check out this great video with our pal Elmo sharing more about learning to save money.

You can also visit our Facebook page for more info about the show and various programs discussed.

Special thanks to our guest, Ron Rohrbach - Program Director VETT/HVRP at Plateau ental Health Center (1200 South Willow Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501) Fax: 931-432-5838
Email: rrohrbach@vbhcs.org

For a first time appointment - call 1-877-567-6051

For the crisis line (adult clients) - call 1-800-704-2651


Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM. 

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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

  • Using Media as a learning tool
  • Using PBS kids apps to extend learning
  • How to be your child’s first teacher
  • Sesame Street Workshops
  • How does poverty effect a child’s brain
  • Literacy and Math
  • Brain Development

Workshops can be conducted in English and Spanish.