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Air Force celebrates April as Month of the Military Child

  • Published
  • By Lori Phipps

Each year, communities worldwide look to April as an important month for children who have one or both parents or guardians serving in uniform.

Considered the military’s youngest heroes, in many ways children serve too. That’s why they’re honored during the observance of Month of the Military Child.

Established in 1986 by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, the Department of Defense continues the Month of the Military Child initiative today. Sponsored by DoD Military Community and Family Policy, the month-long observance acknowledges the important role military children play in their communities and honors their strength, bravery and resilience.

The month is a nationally-recognized celebration honoring military service members' children with an ever-increasing number of awareness campaigns to celebrate them worldwide. On both military installations and local military-connected communities, activities take place and everyone can participate.

The highly mobile, military lifestyle impacts every member of the family with frequent relocations, and a life of uncertainty and change being the norm. Children sacrifice close relationships and endure deployments or separations along with their loved ones in uniform.

Recognition for our youngest heroes is deserved because being part of a military family is something they were born into.

Military children face countless and difficult goodbyes, transferring to far-off places, and learning to bloom where they are planted in new schools and communities. Military children didn't choose a life of service, but they live it commendably and come out of their experiences stronger, more resilient and courageous.

In conjunction with Month of the Military Child, Purple Up! is a specific day when people and communities show support for military children.

Purple has a special meaning in the military, representing anything joint in nature where all branches of the nation’s military services work together for a common goal. States and community stakeholders pick a day to celebrate. Everyone can show their appreciation for military children by wearing purple, posting signs and showing commitment to and camaraderie with these young heroes.

Showing support for Purple Up! and Month of the Military Child activities is a visual encouragement for military-connected students and families. The connection allows them to understand others’ efforts to recognize their unique lifestyle.