Military children: Heroes for the future

  • Published
  • By Malmstrom Child and Youth Programs
  • Staff
Every April, military children have reason to celebrate - it's the Month of the Military Child.

In 1986, Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger designated April as Month of the Military Child as a way to honor military children for their sacrifice and courage.  For the last 29 years, military installations, organizations and communities have created special events to pay tribute to these young heroes.

More than 1.7 million children under the age of 18 have at least one parent in the military and more than 900,000 of those have had a parent deploy multiple times. 

Today's military children are tomorrow's heroes.  April is the month to pay tribute to military children for the sacrifices and support they give to our nation and to show they are the key to our future successes.   The strength of our nation comes from the strength of our military members and their families, including children who serve as heroes for the future.

The Airman and Family Services Flight at Malmstrom Air Force Base consists of the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Child Development Center, Family Child Care and Youth Programs.  Programs such as the Department of Defense Military Family Life Consultants (MFLCs), who provide coaching and non-medical counseling to children and families, are offered to Malmstrom families.  There is an MFLC located at the Airman and Family Readiness Center and one serving the Child Development Center and Youth Programs. The CDC offers daily care as well as hourly care for children six weeks through five years.  Family Child Care offers quality care in a smaller environment of a provider's home. Youth Programs also offer numerous activities such as sports leagues, before and after school care, summer camps, family trips and much more.

Malmstrom Child and Youth Programs is kicking off Month of the Military Child with a spring carnival April 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Youth Center.  There will great games, face painting, prizes and much more.  Wristbands can be picked up at the YC prior to the carnival or the day of.  "Purple Up! For Military Kids" day is April 15.  Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Marine red, Navy blue and Air Force blue.  The YC will celebrate with a family photo scavenger hunt, art show and purple milkshakes and other goodies from 4 to 5 p.m. The CDC will have purple snacks and refreshments for children and families from 3:30 to 5 p.m.   Everyone is encouraged to wear purple as a way to show support and thank military children for their strength, resiliency and sacrifices.   

The month will end with OPERATION TALENT SEARCH.  This Air Force-wide program showcases talent encompassing youth ages six to 18, families, and parent/youth duos.  Local winners in each division will compete AF wide for cash prizes.  Sign up now with Stevie at Youth Programs.

It doesn't take a lot to put a smile on your child's face - take time during April to spend with your son or daughter and be sure to let them know how much you appreciate and love them and don't forget to "PURPLE UP" on April 15.

Call Youth Programs at 731-4634 for more information.