It’s been 239 years since our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, and while today we’ll not only raise a glass to our country’s inception and the men and women who fight to preserve our freedom, we’re not shy about admitting that we are especially looking forward to a traditional Fourth of July meal. Yes, the menus will be comprised mostly of all that fits inside of a bun, but thanks to Hilary Swank we haven’t forgotten another crucial dish: dessert.
This week in New York, the Oscar-winning actress paid tribute both to the pain that families endure when a close member is discharged overseas and to Duracell’s exceptionally adorable Teddy bear, which allows parents to record their voice into the cuddly creature as a constant memory for children to revisit. Of course, Swank discussed what it was like growing up with a father in the Air Force, but she didn’t fail to mention how excited she is for the holiday festivities ahead. “I love the Fourth of July,” she told InStyle. So how exactly does she plan to celebrate? “I always bake pies. Well, I always bake pies in season. So, I’ll probably make a blueberry pie or a peach pie or a blueberry-peach pie.” We’re hoping for an invitation.
In honor of Independence Day, Duracell is shining a light on the children of U.S. military service members and the sacrifices they make when their parent is deployed. Two-time Academy Award-winner, Hilary Swank, shares her support of the program as the daughter of a service member herself; her father is a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant.
Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, more than 2 million American children have had a deployed parent, according to the “Military Children and Families” report conducted by Princeton University/Brookings (Fall 2013). Many of them have seen multiple deployments, three, four, or even five family separations. A major issue that children have during a military deployment is the void that opens when they lose their parent’s daily affection and love. A new film from Duracell shows this struggle through the eyes of the ones left behind.
Duracell was inspired to tell this story when they recently met with one particular military family, the Nilsons. To help their two young daughters cope with his impending deployment, Robert Nilson, a Navy Air Traffic Controller, and his wife, Denise, found a way for Robert to be connected with his children while he was away from home. On the day of his deployment, he and Denise gave their daughters a battery-powered teddy bear, pre-recorded with a message of love from him to his girls. It was a way for the children to hear their father’s voice when they needed it most. This bear became a symbol of Robert, trusted to always be there for his daughters while he was serving overseas.
The Fourth of July is a time for many families to connect, but the holiday can be bittersweet for children with parents in military service. Academy Award winner Hilary Swank discusses her connection to military families.
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