Military and Police

Purple Up! for Military Kids on April 13 and April 18

April is celebrated as “Month of the Military Child.” Every year, communities recognize the important contributions and sacrifices that children in military families make to support their military parent(s).

The Military Child Education Coalition has designated Friday, April 13, as Purple Up! day. They encourage communities around the country to wear purple in celebration of the military’s smallest heroes. Wearing purple will serve as a “visible gesture of support for military kids, and to financially support MCEC in our endeavors to ensure military-connected students overcome challenges to become college, workforce and life-ready,” the Military Child Education Coalition said in a press release earlier this year.

The Department of Defense Education Activity will celebrate Purple Up! day on Wednesday, April 18. Their goal during the Month of the Military Child is to “stress the importance of providing children with quality services and support to help them succeed in the mobile military lifestyle.”

Why purple? The combination of Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine Corps red, and Coast Guard blue create purple, which became the inspiration behind the Purple Up! campaign. “All branches of the service are supported,” said militarybenefits.com in their coverage of this year’s Month of the Military Child.

There are almost 4 million military-connected children, according to MCEC, with 75 percent of those being school-age. They attend both public schools and Department of Defense (DoD) schools. Sometimes, they are in communities with a large military population, such as near major bases or posts. Other times, they are more isolated from large military concentration areas and integrated into the local community.

Military-connected students face unique challenges, something the MCEC is working to help them overcome. They provide “programs, services, and resources designed to enlighten and empower parents, educators, other supportive adults, and the students themselves.”

School-age military kids deserve special recognition, which the MCEC and other organizations aim to provide every April. With frequent moves, parental deployments, and switching schools, states, or even school systems, military kids become very adept at adjusting to new situations.

The MCEC recommends other actions to recognize military-connected children as well. In addition to wearing purple on April 13 and April 18, supporters can acknowledge the important role that these children play during school assemblies or classroom announcements, or by volunteering with organizations that work to help military kids.

Other ways to show your support of Purple Up! include reaching out to elected officials, local businesses, and schools about wearing purple, posting the MCEC campaign poster on local bulletin boards, or showing your support on social media with #purpleup. Show your support all month long with #MonthoftheMilitaryChild and #homeiswhereweare.

Military installations are also celebrating, with purple-themed events and fairs throughout the month of April. Other resources include the Military Families Learning Network, a professional-focused group to “enhance professional impact and encourage professional growth” of those serving military families. Military OneSource is another DoD-funded program that helps service members and their families access “comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, Guard and reserve service members, and their families.” Both organizations are celebrating and promoting Month of the Military Child, recognizing young heroes.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Katie Begley

Katie Begley is a US Naval Academy graduate and former Surface Warfare Officer. In addition to being a military spouse, she is a freelance writer specializing in travel, education, and parenting subjects. Katie has worked in numerous communications roles for volunteer organizations and professionally for a local parenting magazine.

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