They don't have the look of combat veterans, but many of the sixth-graders assembled in Patterson Middle School's gym Thursday have lived most of their young lives with a parent deployed.
During Military Student Day, about 135 sixth-graders from the Killeen school walked through a series of games and challenges designed to honor and teach them.
Maxine Trent of Scott & White's Military Homefront Services said the 2½-hour session was mainly about honoring long-serving military dependents. "I hope what they take away is that we're honoring their sacrifice," said Trent as she led a group in a team-building exercise.
In talking with the group, Trent and Joyce Hodson of the Military Child Education Coalition, determined that some students had parents deployed nine times and many had been through five deployments.
"This group has had parents gone for most of their lives," Trent said.