During the month of April, The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will be celebrating the Month of the Military Child; a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families and the children of servicemen and women serving at home and abroad. Month of the Military Child is sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy and supported by many other organizations including the Department of Defense Education Activity.
The state of Ohio recognizes military families with children and military family-friendly schools and honors them with the designation of being a Purple Star School. Purple Star Schools go above and beyond to support students who have a parent who is serving active duty at home or overseas.
Oftentimes, Purple Star students visit the museum to learn more about Veterans and gain a clear understanding of service and sacrifice and become inspired to get involved in their own communities. Teachers and administrators reach out to the museum to share the learning goals of Purple Star students and the sensitive matters these students face daily. It is our goal to embrace each student and share stories of inspiration of servicemen and women, much like their moms and dads, and how we honor them throughout our museum exhibitions.
Students as young as kindergarten and first grade participate in hands-on activities and open conversations about servicemen and women. Most students have parents actively deployed, and learn about commitment to service. As military children, these students have first-hand experience of the challenges and difficulties families face when a parent is away from home. They share stories of life at home when mom or dad is gone, how loved ones offer helping hands and ways their schools offer support. Military children demonstrate remarkable resilience and compassion towards our nation’s heroes and understand not every hero wears a cape. The real heroes are who they call mom and dad.
What can you do to support military children and Purple Star students?
This month, we can wear purple in solidarity with military children and Purple Star students. The color purple is a combination of the colors red and blue and represents the strength and endurance of each child. Take a picture wearing something purple and post it to social media using the hashtag #purpleupformilitarykids.
In addition to wearing purple, reach out to organizations that support military kids to send a special message of encouragement and hope. Visit www.operationwearehere.com, www.militaryonesource.mil, and www.militaryfamily.org to show your support. During difficult times, the most important thing we can do is support one another and offer kind words and thoughts. United we stand!