Each April, children of our servicemen and women are recognized during the Month of the Military Child. Established in 1986 by then Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, the initiative has been continued by the Department of Defense ever since. While this recognition has only been around for a little over 30 years, children of our armed forces have been serving and sacrificing in their own way throughout our country’s history.
The Department of Defense reports that there are 1.65 million U.S.Military-connected children. They also report that more than 80% of those military-connected children attend public schools. Odds are that you, your family, or your children know a child with a parent in the military.
One of the ways we honor our service members is through certificates and medals. The Virginia Department of Education created a certificate that schools, parents, or loved ones can use to honor the military children in their lives. Find the certificate here .
Another way to show your support is by wearing purple on April 22. That day has been chosen as “Purple Up! For Military Kids” Day. Purple represents the blending of the colors of our service branches: Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard and Reserve. The Virginia Department of Education suggests posting your Purple Up! photos to social media using #PurpleUpVirginia .
by Heidi Sheldon, Archivist of the Virginia War Memorial