Showing Support for Military Kids

Celebrating the Month of the Military Child

Between parental deployments, frequent cross-country moves, and the inevitable school transfers, military kids face a lot of unique challenges. They often have to adjust on the fly and respond in unfamiliar situations, and they don’t always get the credit they deserve for their patriotism, courage, and resiliency.

April – the Month of the Military Child – is our chance to change that. Established in 1986 by Caspar Weinberger, who was the Defense Secretary at the time, the month is an opportunity to celebrate and support kids in military families.

BY THE NUMBERS

According to the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), there are nearly 4 million military-connected children in the country, and 75% of them are currently school aged. Two million of them have had at least one parent deployed on active duty since 9/11.

Most military kids (80%) attend public schools, and about 8% attend on-base schools run by the Department of Defense.

Lastly, the impact of PCS moves cannot be understated – military families typically relocate between six and nine times during their K-12 school years. That’s three times more often than an average civilian family!

SHOWING YOUR SUPPORT

Wondering how you can show your support? Wear purple!

Purple Up! Day is a movement that many different organizations will participate in throughout the course of April. This year, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) has designated Wednesday, April 18 for the cause. The color purple is meant to symbolize the combination of all the colors of the individual branches, so each of them are covered. Check out the video above to learn more.

However and whenever you celebrate Month of the Military Child, organizations like the DoDEA and MCEC encourage you rock the color purple and share your activities on social media with the hashtag #purpleup. It’s a great way to visually share your support and encouragement. 

If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, you could also reach out to local government officials, businesses, teachers, youth organizations, and other school programs to promote participation in your community.

DONATIONS

There are tons of great organizations out there supporting these kiddos, and it's easy to get involved. Here are a few to consider if you're looking to donate or volunteer:

  • Battalion Buddies, an offshoot of Operation Gratitude, provides cuddly stuffed animals decked out in camo to military children as their parents prepare for deployment.
  • Comfort Crew for Military Kids provides emotional support kits in the style of care packages for kids dealing with both deployment and homecoming.
  • Camp Corral has camps set up at 22 locations across 19 states exclusively for military kids, so they can spend time with kids their own age who share similar experiences. Each year they host about 3,800 campers in total.
  • MCEC is dedicated to ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by frequent PCS relocations and family separation.

Looking for more information to better understand the challenges facing these military kids? We put together a roundup of all the blogs, articles, and resources we’ve created over the years. Check it out here!

Jake Butler

About the author: Jake Butler

Jake Butler is a staff writer at Pioneer Services who understands the challenges facing modern military families. He writes informative and entertaining pieces about military life, financial education and everything in between. Follow Jake on Google+.

Contact: Jake Butler

Comments

comments powered by Disqus