By Rebecca Sheir
Two million children in the U.S. have parents serving in the military.
The D.C. area is home to a number of these children, and a national coalition is working to ensure these young people get the educational opportunities they need.
Loretta Clemin lives in Annandale, Virginia. But as an army wife, she estimates she and her children have moved more than a dozen times.
"We've lived in Germany, Italy, in Alaska," says Clemin, ticking off the locations on her fingers.
And all that moving can take a toll on the education of military children, she says, many of whom relocate up to nine times by 12th grade.
Every time you move they are placed into a new program or curriculum, and it takes them about three months to get comfortable," she says. "That's potentially 27 months of optimal learning time kids don't get the benefit of.
Clemin belongs to the Military Child Education Coalition, which offers resources such as checklists, for transferring schools.
President Mary Keller says MCEC also helps families cope with separation and reuniting.
"Parents are separated from the family, or if a family member comes back significantly changed because they're wounded, we owe this to the children of our nation," says Keller.
Because, as both Keller and Clemin point out, when a child's parents are serving their country, he or she is serving, too.