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Created in the mid-1980s by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child. During this month, military support organizations, and even the Pentagon, recognize the more than 1.2 million military children for the challenges they overcome and the sacrifices they make.
From long separation times from parents to having to adjust to new schools, new lifestyles, and being miles away from family — being a military kid comes with many challenges, some loneliness, and frustration.
Did you know that…
- Military children relocate 3 times more than civilian children?
- Since 2001, over 2 million children have had a parent who had to deploy at least once?
- The average military brat will change schools at least nine times before they graduate high school?
- About 42 percent of military children of active-duty service members are younger than five years old?
Military children take the challenges the military life throws at them, and learn to bloom where they are planted — something that even adults struggle to do — which is why they deserved to be celebrated and acknowledged for their strength and adaptability.
Typically, during April, military bases worldwide celebrate the Month of the Military Child by hosting giveaways, carnivals, and festivals to bring awareness to the sacrifices military children make and make them feel seen and special.
Ways to Celebrate the Month of The Military Child
On April 15, the Department of Defense Education Activity asks that students (and all those interested) wear purple, to celebrate military children and what they are referring to as “Purple Up” day.
Whether physically in school, or spending your day in cyber school, show your support by wearing purple.
Paint the town purple. Ask your local businesses and government agencies to show their support for military children by placing purple wreaths, ribbons, paintings, on their buildings during the month of April.
Every year, Operation Homefront hosts an award presentation and gala for their Military Child of the Year Awards.
Each fall, military children between the ages of 13 through 18 are eligible to be nominated to receive the Military Child of the Year award, where they can receive a $10,000 prize, laptop, or other donated gifts.
Awardees are selected based on their:
- Extracurricular activities
- Other criteria
How Can You Help Military Children Overcome Challenges Due to Military Life
Adapting to the constant changes and challenges that come with being part of a military family is never easy — but there are ways that we can help ease the stress that it puts on children.
Military Kids Connect
Under the supervision of an adult, introduce your child to Military Kids Connect. Here, military children are able to connect with other military children who are facing similar changes and situations. Parents and teachers may also find this website useful for tips to help military children facing new challenges
United Through Reading
Keeping close to loved ones during deployments, duty stations across the country (or world) can be difficult for children — United Through Reading helps ease the stress of a parent being deployed, or a grandparent being far away by uniting families through reading aloud.
At The Military Wallet, we are proud to acknowledge and celebrate each and every military child as they overcome the trials and tribulations the military life throws at them.