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F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L / J U L Y - A UGU S T 2 0 1 1
CLASSIFIEDS
Unaccompanied
but Not Alone
BY GABRIELLE HAMPSON,
COMMUNICATIONS & OUTREACH
OFFICER, FAMILY LIAISON OFFICE
M
any Foreign Service families are
separated when employees are
assigned to a post where family
members may not accompany them.
This separation creates hardship for all
membersof the family, but canbe especially
difficult for children. They must grapple
with feelings of isolation and loss, as well
as live in a community that may not real-
ize that aparent isnot only absent, but serv-
ing in a high-risk environment.
To recognize the sacrifices children
makewhen their parents serve at anunac-
companiedpost, the Family LiaisonOffice
distributesmedals andcertificates of recog-
nition toForeignService childrenup to the
age of 21. The awards are given at a vari-
etyof venues: the child’s end-of-year school
celebrations; at ceremonies at overseasmis-
sions; by a local public official; or at the
annual Youth Awards Ceremony held in
the StateDepartment’s BenjaminFranklin
Diplomatic Reception Room.
“Without the support of my family, I
wouldneverhavebeenable tosurvivemen-
tally. My family is the truehero,” says Jason
Banks, who recently returned froma one-
year assignment toPakistan. Banks nom-
inated his 5-year-old son, Matthew, for a
medal.
Because they are unable to attend the
mid-July award ceremony inWashington,
Banks contacted the mayor of his home-
town, Frisco, Texas. The mayor present-
edMatthewwithhis award at a recent city
council meeting.
Since establishing the programin2006,
FLO has distributed more than 2,000
awards and certificates to children. This
recognitionprogramis nowavailable to all
foreign affairs agency employees serving
permanent change-of-station or long-
term TDY assignments at designated
unaccompanied or limited accompanied
posts. All eligible Foreign Service, Civil
Service andLocallyEngagedStaff employ-
ees may submit nominations.
To request amedal for your child, you
may download a nomination form from
FLO’s unaccompanied toursWeb page at
www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c14521.htm.
For additional information please e-mail
FLOAskUT@state.gov.
Proud parents Denise and Jason Banks watch
as their sonMatthew receives a StateDepartment
medal.
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PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD:
$1.40/.
word (10-wordmin). Hyperlink $11.00 in online
edition. Bold text 85¢/word. Header or box-
shading $11 each.
Deadline: 5 wks ahead of publication
Tel: (202) 944-5507 Fax: (202) 338-8244.
E-mail:
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