Children Help Each Other Deal With War

Thursday, May 8th 2008, 4:52 pm
By: News On 6

A student support group in Sand Springs is helping some get answers to the students' questions about the war.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports the military tries to do what it can to support military families, but  ultimately they end up supporting each other.

That extends now even to the children of soldiers who may not realize they have common worries about the war. And, that's how it is for some children in Sand Springs, bonded together by war.  Each has a relative overseas.

For 11-year-old Shannon Rice, it's her brother Jonathon, an Air Force firefighter.

"Pretty scary in a way, but pretty proud of him because he's willing to risk his life," said Shannon Rice.

The children in the group meet once a week to share experiences and ask questions.  On Thursday, their questions went to Captain Steve Biggs, a teacher and soldier who has been to Iraq. 

He's had these questions before, from his own children.

"All you can do is tell them I am doing what I was sent here to do and we're taking care of ourselves," said Army Captain Steve Biggs.

All of the questions center on the safety of their loved ones and why they can't say exactly what's happening in the war.

"He just called my dad and said something is really bad over here and you need to go find out about it," said Shannon Rice.

"They may not want to broadcast information like that," said Army Captain Steve Biggs.

The school counselor and a teacher got the group together, hoping the students would voice their worries, and they have.

"I'm kind of upset with him for being there, but I'm happy for him helping out our country," said student Hailey Blair.

Captain Biggs was able to reassure them that safety is a priority, even in battle, and told them he left Iraq believing he was doing something important.  He was eager to talk to the children because, he says, for the soldiers, leaving family is the hardest battle.

"That was the hardest part, you know, leaving your family," said Captain Steve Biggs.

The children frequently mentioned the emails and pictures they receive from Iraq and Afghanistan.   That seems to be an important link for them.