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April is the month of the military child

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CAMP RIPLEY — In 1986 Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger designated each April as “The Month of the Military Child.” Twenty-eight years later we are still celebrating the most important members of our military formation — our children.

For those parents who wear the uniform you know your children have a uniquely different experience growing up compared to other children. Military children face repeated separations from their parent(s) due to war, deployments, annual training and military schools. Military children face fears and doubts that their peers don’t have to confront.

Yet with great adversity comes great strength. Because of the challenges associated with growing-up in a military family, military children have learned resiliency, independence and leadership. They are self-starters and have gained deep insight into the importance of duty, honor, country and family. Watch the son or daughter of a military member when the National Anthem is played at a sporting event and they stand a little straighter than those around them. Look at their eyes when they hear taps being played and you’ll see a tear well up in honor and remembrance of those who have gone before.

What are some ways that you can honor your military child?

First, from noon-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, 2014, there will be a military appreciation Easter egg hunt at the Camp Ripley Snack Bar. Children from military families 1-12 years old are encouraged to attend.

Second, the color purple has been selected as the color to honor military children. Community members are encouraged to “Purple-Up.” Wear something purple to show your appreciation for military children.

Do something nice this April for your military child. If you are asked why you are taking them to dinner, a game or a movie, tell them that this month is dedicated to them by order of the Secretary of Defense.