ASYMCA: Fostering Support for Military Children

April 17, 2024

During Month of the Military Child, our partners at the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) in Killeen, Texas are honoring the youngest members of our military community – military children! See all of the programs and services that are available to help military kids thrive.


The views expressed in this column are those of the author, Lily Bruner.


Absence is a defining theme in the lives of military children across the country. Sometimes it’s the very tangible absence of a deployed parent or lack of familiar faces in a new place. Sometimes it’s less obvious to a child (but no less impactful) – scarcity of resources and support systems for their parents, who face the unique and admirable challenge of balancing military life and the needs of a young family. 


There’s a lot to admire about military children: they’re resilient, open-minded, adaptable, appreciative, and strong. They confront new obstacles every day, such as educational disruptions, family separation, and reintegration; they must build mental fortitude early on. They miss the friends they make when they move away, and they often suffer from disruptions to much-needed support programs. The military child frequently does what we’d be hard-pressed to ask of an adult, and they’re beautiful and wonderful for their endurance of it all. 


Here at Armed Services YMCA Killeen, we believe that the best way to show appreciation of and respect for the sacrifices of military children is by delivering programs that address their developmental needs: 


child development programs

Our early childhood foundational classes, before and after school care, and summer camps provide safe and nurturing environments in which kids can learn, grow, and connect with the world around them, even when they might feel untethered. 


sports, arts, and humanities

No matter each child’s interests, we strive to offer programs that help them build skills, develop identity, and increase their confidence. Science, art, music, cooking, swimming, and sports are great ways to help military kiddos establish their senses of self. 


military family support services

ASYMCA Killeen is known for our high-quality programs and services, with a lineup of programs exclusively for active duty families to meet the unique demands of military life. You can trust that you’re receiving top-notch care and support when you’re with us.


Whether it’s travel assistance to reunite military families during the holidays, food assistance to ensure pantries (and growing bellies!) are full, childcare during mom/dad/sibling’s medical appointments, or deployment support to help soothe the hurt of distance, we take an all-angles approach to sharing the love with our active duty families at Fort Cavazos. 


Military families choose to use our programs and services for several reasons:


  • Supportive Community: Military life often involves frequent moves and deployments, which can be challenging for families. ASYMCA Killeen provides a large and supportive community where military families can connect with others who share common ground. 
  • Convenience and Accessibility: Armed Services YMCA Killeen is conveniently located on the border of Killeen and Harker Heights (just outside of Fort Cavazos) in a community with the highest concentration of off-base military families, making it easily accessible for families seeking support, services, unity, and fun. 
  • Affordability: All of our military programs and services are free to active duty, and our community programs are offered to service members at affordable or subsidized rates, making them accessible to military families regardless of their financial circumstances. 
  • Holistic Support: In addition to our programs for children, ASYMCA Killeen also offers support services for parents, financial assistance, and employment resources. This holistic approach to supporting military families can help address a wide range of needs and challenges from the top down. 

At Armed Services YMCA Killeen, we stand in awe of the courage and fortitude displayed by military children every day. Our commitment to supporting these young heroes is unwavering. Through our programs and services, we strive to provide an encouraging environment where these children can thrive and find a sense of belonging amidst the transient nature of military life. 


That said, our mission goes beyond mere provision of services; it is rooted in a deep-seated appreciation for the sacrifices made by military families. From the supportive community we foster to the accessibility and affordability of our programs, every aspect of what we do is driven by a desire to honor and uplift those who serve. 


As we reflect on the journey of military children and the vital role they play in our communities, let us not only acknowledge their resilience but also reaffirm our commitment to supporting them every step of the way. 


We extend our heartfelt gratitude to military families for their service and sacrifice. Your resilience inspires us, your courage humbles us, and your love fuels our mission. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey. 


ASYMCA Killeen is committed to improving the quality of life for active duty families through programs relevant to the unique challenges of military life, that strengthen their minds, spirits, and bodies. 

About the Author

Lily Bruner

Marketing, Public Relations Director, ASYMCA Killeen
Lilly is a native of the Fort Cavazos area with a background in marketing and communications.    
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