By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service
NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2009 – To the envy of all the neighborhood kids, I was invited to New York yesterday to attend the taping of a special Sesame Workshop production aimed at helping military children.

I was in awe when I walked down the real-world Sesame Street. As I passed the laundromat and Mr. Hooper’s famous storefront, the years slid away with each step until, once again, I was a 5-year-old glued to an episode of “Sesame Street” on my early 1970s TV set.

I was transported back to the present when down the hall I heard the familiar, high-pitched tones of that furry red Muppet who has gained superstar-like status in recent years. Elmo and his good friend, Rosita, were rehearsing a scene on a brightly lit park set.

Used to more lighthearted shows punctuated with lessons of letters and numbers, it took me a while to adjust to the serious topic Sesame now was tackling: coping with the loss of a loved one.

The video is the latest offering from Sesame’s Talk, Listen, Connect initiative, a multimedia project that helps to guide military families through multiple challenges. The first two productions, developed with help from the Defense Department, dealt with deployments and the visible and invisible wounds of war.

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