According to a Department of Defense report, there are currently 1.7 million total-force dependent children worldwide. Nearly 2 million military children, have experienced a parent deployed since 9/11. Each year, April is set aside to honor those sacrifices families make, and designated as the Month of the Military Child. This is part of the legacy left by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who established the Defense Department commemoration in 1986.
Military children deal with things that most children don’t have to go through. Therefore, it’s imperative that we recognize their important role in the military community with the sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome. Because purple is a color used to represent all military services, the theme "Purple Up" is used over the course of the month.
The Military Child Education Coalition has named the dandelion as the official flower of the military child. The plant puts down roots almost anywhere, and it's almost impossible to destroy. It's a survivor in a broad range of climates. Military children bloom everywhere the winds carry them. They are hardy and upright. Their roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely. They're ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.
Month of the Military Child 2020 is bringing special challenges to our world due to the spread of COVID-19 currently. Celebrations across military bases have been canceled, and kids are out of school and away from their friends learning virtually now. As with all challenges, this is just one more that will prove the strength and resiliency of our military children. They know that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world, and that education doesn't only come from the classroom. They have learned that to survive means they have to adapt, and when one door closes, a new one will open bringing yet another exciting adventure.
We will get through this time together and military children will always have the support of a nation behind them. While we won’t be able to celebrate these amazing young people, in person or at fun events that were planned around the globe, we will continue to celebrate and salute their courage, continued sacrifice, and unwavering patriotism!
At your old school, how many of your friends were in the same activities, clubs or sports as you? Probably most of them, right? That’s because friendships usually happen between people who share the same interests. Now that you’ve moved, are you involved in all your favorite activities at your new school? If the answer is “no,” why not? This is no time to be shy! Wait, you say you’re not shy – you just missed the try-outs (or the cut-off date to sign up)? Guess what! Chances are you can still participate because of an agreement called the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. Ask your School Liaison Officer for help understanding how these rules might help you joinyour favorite sport or other programs late. Being a joiner is one of the best ways to make new friends. Watch and listen to what these military teens, who’ve moved multiple times, have to say about getting involved.
So…you have a new town, a new house, a new school, maybe you’ve even moved to a totally different time zone, country or climate. Seeing that pretty much everything is new right now, why not reinvent yourself and try something you’ve never done before? Like...playing a new sport, learning a new language, or joining a completely different club that might, or might not have been available at your old school. Sound intimidating? Nah. Think about it-everything you enjoy doing now was, at one point, totally new to you. And, even if you end up not loving this new activity, it’s an opportunity to make new friends.