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The month of April provides an opportunity to recognize and honor the service of our youngest heroes, military children. Established by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in 1986, the designation of April as the Month of the Military Child acknowl-edges the significant role military youth play in our communities. From frequent moves, to seeing their parents deployed to combat zones around the world, the challenges of being a military child are many. The Month of the Military Child is a time to honor and applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome to ensure mission readiness. They are resilient and take pride in their service to our Country. They deserve our appreciation and support.
In 2011, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Military Youth and Family Program started the “Purple Up! for Military Kids” initiative that quickly gained momentum and is now celebrated nationwide. Children in school and youth groups, employees in businesses and organizations, and everyone in the community is encouraged to wear purple on a specific day in April in honor of military kids.
Wearing the color purple is a visible way to show support and thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices. Why purple? Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is a combination of Army green, Marine Red, and Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy blue. The goal of “Purple Up!” is for military youth to actually SEE the support in their school, youth groups, and the community!
Let us know how your state is planning to celebrate Month of the Military Child 2019. Militarybenefits.com shared some ideas for folks to consider:
- Wear purple on Purple Up! Day
- Ask local, regional state, and federal offices to wear purple on Purple Up! Day
- Suggest companies and businesses ask their employees to wear purple
- Ask schools and teacher to recognize Purple Up!Day
- Recognize military children
- Involve schools, sports teams, youth organizations, clubs, after school programs, fraternal organizations, social clubs, coworkers, members of your organizations
- Request local businesses, stores and restaurants to post a Purple Up! Message
- Share your activities and photos with us for inclusion on the website.
You can find more information on events sponsored by military communities through contacting the Public Affairs Office at your nearby installations, Military Family Readiness Centers, Department of Defense Dependent School admin offices, and through your contacts with CYS/CYP professionals in your state. A 4-H event planned in conjunction with military partners would be an excellent way to showcase the opportunities available for our systems to build even stronger collaborations and networks to ensure military-connected youth can experience 4-H programming.