“Kids of America’s Heroes,” or (KOAH), seeks to provide essential support and services for the tens of thousands of children affected. Maria Phillips, the daughter of a World War Two veteran, saw the great need for this kind of help. With her late father’s life insurance policy from the war, she co-founded KOAH. Her dream is that every state will have a chapter of KOAH to bolster children.
CLINTON---The seeds of Kids of America’s Heroes (K.O.A.H.) were sown long ago, on a cold December
morning when Maria Phillips’ father, then a student at UCONN, heard the news that rocked this country from its foundation - Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Like one in four young men in the U.S. then, Maria’s father enlisted and he went on to serve in the Army Air Corps. Many years later, Maria would take her own impressive action to serve others in a time of need.
For all of the discussions and focus on veterans, the assistance, and the studies, one military group has somehow gone relatively unnoticed: children. Children of military families bear a tremendous burden when parents are deployed and again when they return, yet the resources available to them, their families and their schools are scant.
“There are so many wonderful entities that support our veterans and even their spouses, but we’re the first of its kind whose sole purpose is to advocate and educate on behalf of the children,” said Maria Phillips, founder of the nonprofit Kids Of America's Heroes and its current program manager.
By PEGGY MCCARTHY and CONN. HEALTH I-TEAM WRITER
Maria Phillips of Clinton, whose father served in World War II, said she and her siblings have mental health issues that include anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which she called “collateral damage” from their father. She said he had what was then called “shell shock” with symptoms similar to what is now identified as PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
Pete Mezzetti Show - Kids of Americas Heroes
Maria Phillips and Jason Burke talk about the unique challenges Kids Of America's Heroes attempt to Navigate during the deployment cycle.
With Bernadette Welsh
Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team of professionals is the backbone of Kids Of America's Heroes. Their ideas help shape the direction and mission of our organization as it continues to develop.