April is Month of the Military Child
Many of us look forward to the month of April every year. During this first full month of spring, we watch as lawns turn greens, trees bud and temperatures warm.
There's another reason to celebrate April. It's designated as Month of the Military Child. It's sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy.
The purpose is to honor sacrifices made by military families worldwide. An emphasis is placed on understanding and helping dependent children of military members. Whether they're serving at home or overseas.
The month is celebrated among military communities with parades. Plus fairs, seminars and special events centered around the message.
An Emphasis on Education
Month of the Military Child began in 1986. It was established by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. The Defense Department has honored it ever since.
Over 34 years, awareness campaigns have been aimed at recognizing military children's needs.
Initiatives include helping military children cope with their parents' deployment to war zones. And educating these children at on-base campuses around the globe.
The Defense Department Education Activity (DoDEA) operates 166 schools for military children. There are also 700 military child development program facilities. They serve some 645,000 youth through educational and recreational programs.
Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the U.S. military. As part of the month's celebration, April 15 is known as Purple-Up Day. It's a grassroots effort that began in 2011.
Children of military members are encouraged to wear purple on that day. As well as those who support them.
Also asked to wear purple are local, regional, state and federal officials. Businesses are encouraged to ask employees to wear purple as well.
Teachers can also suggest that their students wear purple on April 15. Plus school sports teams and after-school program participants.
Facing Frequent Challenges
There are many unique challenges military children face. Such as the moves they have to make. Their families move an average of 10 times as they are growing up.
Sometimes these moves are to foreign countries. Where languages and cultures are very different. Even moves within the U.S. can be traumatic. Especially when they are to remote bases in Alaska, North Dakota and Montana.
Often these children also deal with separations from a parent. And sometimes they must contend with injuries a parent has suffered.
As a result, one-third of military children show psychosocial behaviors. Such as being anxious and crying more often than is normal.
Ways to Honor Military Children
There are a number of ways Americans can support military children. Especially through schools. Here are a few from the National Parent Teacher Association.
Military Care Package Night. Host a night with different "goody" stations. Where children of military families can assemble a care package. And then send it to their loved one.
Worldwide Show and Tell. Make or get a large map and have military children color in which states and countries they have lived in. Or visited with their families.
Military Career Day. Bring in local military personnel to share some of the things they've done. And some of the places they've been deployed.
Military Brat Appreciation Party. Host a party designed to honor the children of military members. Include music and games, and hand out goody bags.
A Soldier's Child Foundation
As you know, 4Patriots helps members of the military and their children by making donations. They go to various groups, including A Soldier's Child Foundation.
Daryl Mackin wanted to make sure that the children of fallen U.S. soldiers received a birthday present. That's why he established A Soldier's Child.
"Ninety-nine percent of Americans never defended the freedoms that they get to live out in this country. One percent of our population volunteers to do that. And when they don't come home, their children suffer for it. You can give them hope by showing them that they matter."
A Soldier's Child serves 3,300 children nationwide. That means conducting more than 200 birthday celebrations a month. They also hold 15 camps per year. And offer mentorship programs and college scholarships.
Daryl put together a video to show just how much your support means to them and to the children. And to let you know firsthand what you are helping to accomplish. Watch Daryl's video message here:
You Help Us Donate
Among the other groups 4Patriots actively donates to are:
Fisher House Foundation. It operates homes across the country where families of active-duty soldiers and veterans can stay. There's no cost while their loved one is receiving medical treatment.
Operation Homefront. It aids military families during difficult financial times. By providing food, auto and home repair, and vision care. As well as travel and transportation and moving assistance. Plus essential home items and financial help.
We at 4Patriots feel grateful to be in a position to help various groups. Such as A Soldier's Child, Fisher House and Operation Homefront.
None of this would be possible without your continued support. So thank you for everything you've done and continue to do for America's military families.
And if you'd like to lend your support even more, use code 1MOREMEAL when checking out our products online to double your impact and help support Veterans and their families in need. Every purchase counts. Take a look at our online store, right here.