Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome. As we celebrate this month, we want to stress the importance of providing military children the support to help them thrive in a military lifestyle. These children deserve our support as they support their family members who serve.
Highlight the Month of the Military Child in your newsletter and social media. Especially if your program is not near a military installation, help your community understand that National Guard and military families are spread across the whole county.
As the youth in your program learn about the experiences of military families, have them create posters or displays thanking military families for their service. Write letters or draw pictures to send to deployed family members, military families (who “serve too”), a local veterans’ home or hospital thanking them for their service.
Invite a military member to be a guest speaker and share their perspective on life in the military, or growing up as a military child. If they would like, allow military children to share memorabilia of their experience in the military – such as souvenirs from an installation, a book, airplane, military character, or other items that are important to them.
Kick off the month of the military child (or Purple Up! Day) with a dinner for military children, their families and others who support them (neighbors, friends, grandparents). Invite all the children in your program to help civilian families learn more about military families. Ask everyone to wear purple. Consider working with VFW’s and other organizations that support retirees and veterans in your community. Use the opportunity to invite local media.
Host a night with different “goodie” stations where families can make a care package to send to deployed members of the military. Work with your local national guard to connect with deployed units. Each station can have a different item and children can visit each one and personalize their package.
Create a Hero Wall in your program to honor those in public service. Encourage all the children to nominate a hero. This could be family members serving in the military, veterans (living or dead), or others who serve their community such as police, first responders, community leaders, doctors or teachers. Help the children think about and connect with their hero. A hero is defined in many ways. Keep the conversation going about sacrifice and public service.
We would love to hear how you plan to celebrate the Month of the Military Child in your program. Share your ideas in the comments below or join us on social media using #MOMC.