NEWS | April 15, 2015

Month of the Military Child honors children of service members

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Deployments, moving every few years and daily sacrifices are not only felt by the Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman; military children share the burden of serving too.

The Department of Defense observes April as the Month of the Military Child and Joint Base Charleston is ensuring military children are recognized as well.

The Month of the Military Child kicked-off April 4, 2015 during an Easter egg hunts held at  the air base and weapons station with more than 1,000 attendees.

"Military children are resilient," said Shannon Norris, 628th Force Support Squadron Air Base youth director. "Having a parent leave for six months or longer and then reintegrating back into the family is hard on everyone. April is a month used to recognize the sacrifices made by our youth and to thank them for being supportive to those who serve."

April 15, 2015 is known as "Purple Up Day." The day is a national celebration of the important role children play in military communities. Participants wear the color purple to show their support to military children.

The air base and weapons station each have three groups supporting military children year round. The Child Development Center  supports military children from age six months to five years, the Family Child Care program  is an on-base child care service and Youth Programs which is open to children five to 18 years old providing activities such as team sports and instructional classes. 

Throughout the month each center offered free and low-cost activates for the enjoyment of military children and their families.

"Military families are always on the go and they live busy lives," Norris said. "Our activities provide a time to slow down and we encourage the whole family to get involved."

The next big event is Operation Megaphone Teen Lock-In April 24, 2015 at the Weapons Station Youth Center.  The Megaphone Lock-in will connect teens from military branches worldwide to discuss key issues affecting teens and will promote communication throughout the services, Norris said.

The local community is also involved in Month of the Military Child.

"Charleston is a great place for military members because of the support of the local population," she said. "Some of the proceeds of Operation Military Child, an event hosted by a motorcycle company off-base, will be donated to our Youth Programs.

"It is important for military children to see our support as an installation, but it also means the world to them to be supported by members of the local community." 

For more information in regards to events going on for military children please visit the 628th Force Support Squadron website at www.jbcharleston.com.