Celebrating Month of the Military Child 2022
contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer
Nearly two million military children have experienced a parental deployment in the past 20 years, and there are currently 1.2 million children of active-duty military service members in the US. On average, military families move three times more often than non-military families and most of their children attend public schools, meaning these kids spend much of their time with children in very different circumstances than themselves. This is why, in 1986, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger designated April as Month of the Military Child.
Every April, military bases, cities and school districts around the world honor these unsung American heroes with special events just for them. Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to underscore the important role military children play in the armed forces community.
The Symbolic Dandelion
A Military child manages to bloom anywhere the winds carry them. They are strong and resilient. Their roots are hardy, sewn deeply in military culture, planted quickly and surely. Military children fly in into new adventures in new lands with new friends at a moment’s notice. This is why the dandelion, which puts down roots almost anywhere and is nearly impossible to destroy, is the official flower of the military child.
Purple Up! Day For Military Children 2022
Purple Up! For Military Children is a day within the Month of the Military Child to go all out in a show of support for these incredible kids.
For the most part, the Month of the Military Child 2022 and Purple Up! are being celebrated within military communities, but anyone can take time to recognize our nation’s military children. This year, Purple Up! Day will be celebrated on Friday, April 15, 2022. Since this is not a national holiday, there are no school closings, days off work, or post office closures, but that doesn’t mean we can’t recognize it.
Purple Up! For Military Kids
- Most civilians don’t know when military child month 2022 is, let alone the best way to celebrate it. If you want to help spread the word, start simple. Wear purple to show support and thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices.
- Promote the Month of the Military Child 2022 on your website or encourage local businesses and schools to do so. Maybe even provide links to sites that offer resources for military families or publicize military installation events scheduled on Purple Up! Day.
- Salute military children at local sporting events by asking to make a special announcement in recognition of military kids before, during or after sporting events. Invite military children to raise the flag, sing the National Anthem or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Ask local, regional, state, and federal officials to wear purple on Purple Up! Day and suggest companies and businesses ask their employees to do so as well.
- Encourage local businesses to post a Purple Up! message on their social media or websites.
- Make a Tik Tok video or Instagram reel dedicated to Purple Up! and military children. Share your own Purple Up! activities and photos on social media. Use #MilKidStrong #MOMC #MonthoftheMilitaryChild #PurpleUp to help spread awareness.
- Within schools and community organizations, create a world map and pinpoint where military children have lived because of their military lifestyle.
- Create Care Packages for deployed troops. Collect items from a class, grade, school group or entire school. Packages can be sent to a student’s family member or another unit identified through local community. Include notes, cards and pictures. For more care package ideas, contact a family member, local installation, or Red Cross to decide what to send.
- Adopt the family of a deployed service member. Perhaps a class or school group can help with yard work or childcare. You could offer tutoring, homework assistance, meals or anything else that might help them thrive while their loved one is away.
- Read books to children about military kids’ experience, the military lifestyle, being the new kid in school or appreciating differences in one another. Military Connection has curated two book lists for military children focused on navigating deployment and frequent moves.
- Work with military kids to send thank you cards to a local installation or veteran home. You could also send get-well cards to service members in a local military hospital.
- Encourage schools to display one purple ribbon for each enrolled military child on a tree outside the school, on the walls of the lunchroom or any other highly visible location on school grounds.
- Use your company or school newsletter to provide information and resources to military families.
- Publicize Purple Up! Share events and activities hosted by your local military installation or community.
- Take #14 a step further and look for ways you can contribute to these events such as volunteering, setting up an information station, or offering an activity booth.
More Resources for Military Children
The Military Family section of our blog is a great place to learn about ways to support military children. You may like 11 Ideas to Maintain Connection During Deployment, Tips for Helping Children Before Deployment, and 10 Ways to Support Military Families.
During April’s Month of the Military Child, and every day, Military Connection celebrates these unsung heroes for who they are: unique, brave, resilient future history makers. Thank you for all that you do.