2015 Theme - "Young Lives, BIG Stories"
April is Month of the Military Child! This special celebration is a legacy of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger – established to underscore the important role children play in the Armed Forces community. Army Garrisons, State Youth Program Coordinators, Army Reserve CYS Services Coordinators, and Operation: Military Kids (OMK) State Teams plan numerous events ranging from picnics and parades to recreational fairs and fun festivals – all to recognize and applaud Families and their children for the daily sacrifices for they make in supporting America’s Army.
From the DoD:
Month of the Military Child Recognizes Young Family Members
By Amaani LyleDoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, April 1, 2015 – To highlight the year-round contributions, courage and patriotism of the military community’s youngest members, the Defense Department observes April as the Month of the Military Child, a Pentagon official told DoD News.
Established by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1986, the month recognizes some 1.9 million U.S. military children ranging in age from infants to 18 years old who have one or both parents serving in the armed forces, said Barbara Thompson, the director of DoD’s Office of Family Readiness Policy.
“We want to highlight their sacrifices [and] support of the military member in their families, so it behooves us to take time from the busy calendar of our events and recognize militarychildren,” she said.
Permanent-change-of-station moves, deployments and training activities, among other facets of military life, can present unique challenges to children who must constantly adjust to distance, unfamiliarity and uncertain schedules, Thompson explained.
“That can be a real sacrifice, because each parent is a very important part of that child’s makeup,” she said. “So we want to make sure that when they move or change schools, all of those transition times are supported with resources, programs and services.”
DoD offers a variety of programs to help military children overcome these challenges, Thompson said....
DoDEA joins the Department of Defense and the military community in celebrating April as the Month of the Military Child. Throughout the month, DoDEA will encourage schools to plan events that recognize and show appreciation for our military children. We know that military children face many challenges that are unique to their situation, such as having a parent deployed for extended periods of time and moving frequently. Deployments and family separations can be stressful times for children.
This year, we’re inviting everyone to “Purple Up!” which is an annual campaign created four years ago by Operation Military Kids (OMK). OMK is an organization dedicated to military children. During the month of April they encourage community awareness and support of military children. OMK also asks the nation to join together for an event they call, “Purple Up! For Military Kids” and wear purple on a designated day in April.
We are encouraging everyone across the DoDEA school system to wear purple on, April 15th as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. OMK chose purple because it is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.