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It’s the Month of the Military Child, Purple Up!

Army soldier receives a kiss from her young son

It’s the Month of the Military Child, Purple Up!

It’s officially April. We love that April means spring is here, but we also love that April is the “month of the military child,” and we get to honor all of the military children in the United States.

Month of the Military Child started in 1986, when Secretary of Defense, Casper W. Weinberger, realized that no one was recognizing the sacrifice that military children make by having one or both parents in the military. He thought that military children were inspirational in how they handled hard situations like being separated from family members due to deployment and frequently moving.

Did you know…

  • There is approximately 2 million military children, ranging in ages from newborn to 18 years old
  • Military families relocate 3 times more often than civilian families on average, every 2-3 years
  • Since 2001, more than 2 million children have had a parent deployed at least once
  • 1/3 of school-age military children show psychosocial behaviors such as being anxious, worry often, and crying more frequently
  • The repeated and extended separations and increased hazards of deployment compound stressors in military children’s lives

In order to honor and reach out to children who are dealing/have dealt with a parent or both parents in the military, many organizations are putting on events for military children to be a part of. Here’s a few examples of the fun events being hosted:

  • Purple Up – encouraging everyone to wear purple on April 15th, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices.
  • DoDEA and the Department of Defense are partnering up to encourage schools around the US to plan events that recognize and show appreciation for our military children.
  • Young Lives, Big Stories Contest – military children can submit a drawing that depicts, “what does it mean to be a military child?” Top prizes include an Apple laptop, Xbox, Wii, iPad and more!
  • Operation Megaphone – an annual worldwide event that was designed to connect military teens from around the world to discuss key issues that affect military teens.

Even though these “Month of the Military Child” events are taking place in April, there are many organizations that work all year round to better the lives of military children. Here’s a few of the organizations that work hard to recognize military children and the sacrifices they have to make.

  • The New Parent Support Program – helps parents, and expecting parents, to develop the skills they need to provide a nurturing environment for their children while going through the difficulties of military life including, distance from family, frequent moves, and deployments.
  • Military One Source – is open 365 days a year and 24 hours a day to help military families with problems they might be facing. One of the resources they have available is parenting and helping military children.
  • 4-H Military Partnerships – creates opportunities and provides support for military you and their families whether they live near an installation, in our community, or on overseas installations. Being a part of their clubs will help military children develop life skills through positive youth development.

Military children make many sacrifices by having a parent or both parents in the military, so we are thankful for these great organizations that help to make April a fun month for the children being affected, as well as the organizations who work with military families all year round. Remember to wear your purple on Wednesday, April 15th to show your support!

 

Photo credit: Flickr user The National Guard