Connecting Military Kids to Deployed Parents

In support of the Month of the Military Child, the U.S. Army’s Online and Social Media Division highlights Operation Give a Hug. This program has provided more than 355,000 military children across the globe the ability to give their deployed parents a hug.

Susan Agustin, Founder of Operation Give A Hug, has provided comfort to children during deployments through her special dolls, often referred to by children as their daddy or mommy doll. The dolls distributed by Operation Give A Hug are donned with fabric similar to the Army Combat Uniform and resembles the uniform of the Army Soldier. To support children whose parents are serving in other branches of service – Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard – Operation Give a Hug provides them with dolls made of patriotic fabric.

Since its inception in 2004, Operation Give A Hug has supported requests from nearly 1000 units stationed in all 50 states, Europe, and Asia, as well as requests from units stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. A unique fact about Operation Give a Hug is that the program was never marketed or advertised. It has grown from a grassroots level and by military families and support programs sharing the information with one another.