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by Gerry J. Gilmore of the American Forces Press Service
 
WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- A Web site created to help servicemembers, spouses and children navigate the challenges associated with military moves and deployments is now available.
Sponsored by the Defense Department, the site offers advice and resource assistance for school transition issues, military deployments and more, said John Molino deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy.
 
DOD officials have long recognized the need to disseminate helpful information to the field "for students who transition between schools as their (military) parents are reassigned," Molino said. For years department officials have tried to provide as good information as is available to facilitate that transition, he said.
 
The emergence of the World Wide Web "has been an excellent opportunity for us to take advantage of that technology, provide that information and grow from there," Molino said.
 
The site contains school transition and deployment information targeted to the concerns of military parents, children 6 to 12 years old, teenagers, families with special-needs children, military leaders and educators, Molino said.
 
Parents can also access education-related information on transferring student records, graduation requirements and more.
 
The site allows military children and teens to access tips and information to help them cope with family moves and military-parent deployments, adapting to new schools and making new friends.
 
Monitored children's and teen's "chat rooms" also are available on the site.
 
"(The chat rooms) will enhance the ability of children to share their own experiences, which will be most relevant in that age group," Molino said.
 
The war on terrorism has brought the issue of deployments to the front burner for military families, he said.
 
"In an age of increased deployments, it is more important to have this information on the Web site," Molino said. The war has made school districts more aware of the concerns of military families.
 
The site's overall purpose is to help servicemembers' children succeed within the framework of the military lifestyle, Molino said.
 
"These are not insurmountable problems," he said. "These are challenges, much like the challenges they will face for the rest of their lives.
 
People can visit the new site at www.militarystudent.org.
 
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