April is Month of the Military Child (MOMC) when the DOD encourages Americans to honor the contributions and sacrifices of our military kids.
At the time of a 2015 Defense.gov report, the U.S. had nearly 2 million “total-force dependent children.” This included over 900,000 Army dependents, 400,000 Air Force dependents, nearly 300,000 Navy and approximately 118,000 Marine dependents. More than 2 million children have had a parent deploy since 9/11 with half of them experiencing 2 or more deployments.
These resilient sons and daughters stand by their military parents through frequent moves, deployments and other stressful challenges unique to military life. That’s why MOMC was established in 1986 by Secretary of Defense Casper W. Weinberger. He realized we weren’t recognizing the sacrifices our military children have to make. Weinberger saw military kids as inspirational in how they cope with difficult situations including changing schools and leaving friends every 2 or 3 years.
As part of MOMC, April 18 (date may vary locally) is designated as “Purple Up! For Military Kids Day.” You’re encouraged to show support for our military children by wearing purple.
Although April is official MOMC, many organizations provide year around resources to support our military children:
- The New Parent Support Program helps parents and expectant parents develop skills needed to provide a nurturing environment for kids experiencing the challenges of military life.
- Military One Source is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—online and by phone—to help military families with challenges they face from teen dating and fighting obesity to dealing with child abuse and drugs.
- 4-H Military Partnerships help military children develop life skills through activities sponsored by the 4-H Club program.
Please join USBA in saluting and supporting our country’s youngest military heroes. Dad or Mom may wear the uniform, but these brave youngsters serve right alongside them.