There are 1.7 million American children and youth under 18 with a parent serving in the military and about 900,000 with one or both parents deployed multiple times.
April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. The Month of the Military Child is an opportunity to recognize military children and youth for their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience. (Defense.gov here)
This may be the month of the military child, but as we all know, the children also serve 365 days a year as one or both of their parents serve in our military.
By Elaine Wilson, AFPS
March 31, 2010
Military children often are referred to as “unsung heroes,” but, in honor of April’s Month of the Military Child, I’d like to take some time to sing their praises.
Their challenges are all-too familiar: moving frequently and adjusting to being separated from a parent that goes off to training or gets deployed.
An official recently told me that military children, on average, will attend six to nine schools over the course of a parent’s military career. That’s a lot of first-day-of-school stress to handle....[...]
I hope we don’t forget that our military children are undergoing great challenges each day. Their parents are deploying into combat and may return home with visible or invisible wounds of war. We all must be mindful of what these children are going through, particularly since multiple deployments are now normal.
Military children need every American’s support, whether it’s a kind ear or just a shoulder to lean on.
I know you all know military children. Take time to talk to them, find out if there’s anything you can do to help them. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” If each of us starts in our own “village,” we can make a significant headway in caring for all military children. I can’t think of more deserving recipients of our support....(here)
Operation Top Knot is a very active team within Soldiers' Angels.
A great Soldiers' Angels team to join in honor of the military child is Operation Top Knot, a nationwide network of service clubs and individuals who sew, knit and shop to create gift baskets for infants and expectant mothers in military families. Team members knit, crochet, sew, quilt, and design blankets, booties, hats, onesies, bibs, and many more homemade gifts. They also assemble and deliver gift baskets full of goodies such as bottles, diapers, onesies, pacifiers, washcloths, grooming kits, and more. Additionally, they make sure to remember Dad by sending "It's a Boy!" or "It's a Girl!" bubblegum cigars to wherever he is stationed. Join Operation Top Knot today.
Who We Are and What We Do
Founded by college student Audri Cid in November 2003, Top Knot is a nationwide network of service clubs and individuals who sew, knit and shop to create gift baskets for infants and expectant mothers in military families. Deployments are difficult on the entire family unit, but even moreso when that family is expecting or has an infant child. Our mission is to commend the women and children at home for their strength, to let them know we are proud of their sacrifices as well as their husbands' and fathers', and most importantly, to do what we can to support them during the emotionally challenging times of deployment.
Our dedicated volunteers knit, crochet, sew, quilt, and design blankets, booties, hats, onesies, bibs, and many more homemade gifts. We also assemble and deliver gift baskets full of goodies such as bottles, diapers, onesies, pacifiers, washcloths, grooming kits, and more. Additionally, we make sure to remember Dad by sending "It's a Boy!" or "It's a Girl!" bubblegum cigars to wherever he is stationed.
How to Submit a Family for Support
Do you know a military family Operation Top Knot should help?
To receive Top Knot support, a family must: 1) Have a deployed parent or an active duty military servicewoman AND 2) be expecting a child OR have a child under the age of two (you may also submit a new/expectant military mom who needs extra support due to special circumstances even if her husband is not deployed).
If you know of a family that meets the above criteria, please click here to submit them for support!
Each new/expectant mother will receive gifts in the mail during her due date month, as will any big brothers or big sisters. A virtual baby shower of support will be coming from Angel volunteers across the country. Additionally, we make sure to remember Dad by sending "It's a Boy!" or "It's a Girl!" bubblegum cigars to wherever he is stationed.
How You Can Help
Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer based, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting our brave men and women in uniform who are valiantly serving our nation in support of the War on Terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever we proudly raise the flag of the United States of America. We are proud to support our heroes in every way possible.
The children also serve.