When discussing the value, service, and sacrifice of the military, the majority of people think of service members themselves. This is not inherently wrong; however, the sacrifices and experiences that military families, and especially military children, go through is often not given the attention that it deserves.
Month of the Military Child exists for the purpose of honoring the experiences and contributions of military families and military children. This special period takes place every year throughout the month of April and even receives sponsorships from the Department of Defense Military Community & Family Policy along with others.
Month of the Military Child: Everything You Need to Know
Having a full grasp on Month of the Military Child places you at a unique advantage.
The ability to look at military service from a different perspective matters; the same can be said about the positive impact of acknowledging military families and children with a parent or loved one who served or is currently serving. Far too often, it’s easy to forget, overlook, or simply fail to consider how children are impacted when their loved ones are in the military.
What is Month of the Military Child and Why is it Celebrated?
The inception of Month of the Military Child began in the middle years of the 1980s. During this time period, the U.S. Pentagon along with other agencies which support the military saw fit to acknowledge the courage of military children.
In many cases, kids who have military parents are forced to deal with deployments, extended periods of time without their loved ones, and regularly moving around. This can be hard enough for any adult, but can especially take a toll on children.
By nature, kids are learning, growing, and seeking to connect with others. While childhood comes with its own set of challenges, being a military child is a very different experience; this is why honoring these young people comprises such an important part of what it means to be an American.
Since April is the Month of the Military Child, those who choose to celebrate typically wear the color purple. The ‘Purple Up’ theme serves as a form of tribute to all forms of service in the military. In and of itself, purple represents a combination of each military branch; this includes the Navy blue, Air Force blue, Coast Guard blue, Army green, and Marine red.
Month of the Military Child Activities
By this point, you’re likely wondering about the various activities which take place to honor military children. While there are different ways for everyone to celebrate this special month, knowing the best Month of the Military Child activities can’t hurt.
The following activities are some of the greatest ways you can honor military children and their relatives who are serving this great nation.
- Reading books/watch shows which depict military life
- Checking for children’s activities at your local military base
- Making deployment walls
- Placing U.S. flags on grave sites
- Encouraging your staffers or co-workers to wear purple during April
- Putting together care packages for deployed service members
- Sending letters and/or thank-you cards to your local military base
Month of the Military Child 2020
With a new year comes the forthcoming Month of the Military Child 2020. You can celebrate this month by not only partaking in the aforementioned military-themed activities, but also by spreading awareness about what this month is all about.
Ensuring that more and more Americans have a full understanding of why April is so important for military children will make a significant difference in the lives of countless people, especially those in the military and their loved ones. Supporting military children is an extension of not only backing the troops, but also acknowledging the service that allows America to be so great.
If you know a military child or someone else with links to the military, spending time with them (if at all possible) is another great way to acknowledge Month of the Military Child 2020.
April, Month of the Military Child: How to Show Support Online
Depending on your work or lifestyle, you may not always be able to celebrate military children by attending events or partaking in the listed Month of the Military Child activities. However, this doesn’t have to limit you.
April is Month of the Military Child and you have options for various ways to pay tribute to the children of servicemembers, even if that’s just online. Believe it or not, online support for the military can be extremely effective. At least hundreds of millions of people are online at any given moment and you never know who can come across something you post online.
If you’re interested in supporting military children online, you can do so by engaging in the following activities.
- Donating to organizations that support military children (examples include: Military Child Education Coalition, National Military Family Association, Our Military Kids, etc.)
- Sharing Month of the Military Child information on your social media pages
- Using the #MonthOfTheMilitaryChild hashtag on social media
- Signing up for a military pen pal
- Acknowledging the sacrifice of service members and their children on your blog or social media pages
Being Part of Something Greater Than Yourself
Paying homage to military children and their families ultimately allows you to be part of something greater than yourself.
Because the kids of service members face so many unique hurdles and challenges, having that much more support always makes a positive difference. While a military child is blessed with heroic parents, the reality of a parent possibly being deployed at any time is understandably tough for children.
Due to the lifestyle that comes along with having a parent who serves, many military children learn how to adapt. In many ways, this is to be expected, due to the frequency of travel and moving from one place to the next. Seeing different parts of the country and the world can provide great exposure; however, this part of the military life can also be lonely and complicate the process of maintaining friendships and relationships with others.
Why Your Support Matters
Your acknowledgement and support of Month of the Military Child goes so much further than you realize. If you know any military families and children, supporting them in any of the ways listed above can make such a positive difference. If you happen to live near any military communities, learning about available opportunities for showing support at a local level can also bring joy to the lives of those who serve and the children closest to them.
There’s no denying that showing support for military children and their families helps them, but it also helps you too. Aside from being part of something greater than yourself, Month of the Military Child also provides you with the opportunity to get a closer look at what true service and sacrifice looks like.
The values of service and sacrifice are what our country was founded upon; these values also allow America to stand and maintain to this day. Furthermore, the freedoms that our nation’s citizens get to enjoy each day is made possible because of the troops and their families.
Month of the Military Child is an excellent time to honor military children and servicemembers, but don’t limit yourself to only April. Throughout the year, there are always ways and opportunities to thank the troops, volunteer, and otherwise make a positive difference in the lives of those who serve.
Hopefully, this information provided a new perspective on why April matters so much to military families. The simplest act of acknowledgement, kindness, or even a quick “thank you” can go a very long way in the life of a military child or someone else who serves.