April is the Month of the Military Child. Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger established it in 1986. Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the month of the military child is a month dedicated to reflecting on the sacrifices and challenges military children face as part of military life.
April 15th every year is Purple Up! For Military Kids day where people around the world wear purple to demonstrate their support of military children around the world. The color purple was chosen as the color is a mix of all the service branch colors – Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine Corps red, and Coast Guard blue.
In celebration of the month of the military child, we asked some military children of the different service branches what military life meant to them, or what their favorite part of military life was. They were unabashedly honest about their thoughts. From ages 4 – 21, here are what military children from around the world shared.
L.E., age 21, Marine Corps – “I learned to appreciate the little things and the small moments because we knew that things could change in the blink of an eye. We learned that we never knew how much time we got with our friends or in one place so we learned to appreciate every second we had.”
C.E, age 20, Marine Corps – My favorite thing about military life is “getting to experience new people and places that a normal kid growing up doesn’t usually get to do or see. It definitely makes you well rounded.”
A.P., age 10, Marine Corps– “Military life means moving from friends and family. It’s also an adventure, and you get to see new places. What I like is meeting new people and seeing new places.”
K.M., age 13, Marine Corps – “[I have a] level of pride and getting to experience more than civilian kids,”
L.M., age 11, Marine Corps – “My favorite thin has been moving and making new friends.”
A.A., age 10, Army – “My favorite thing about military life is that you can live pretty much anywhere.”
R.D.S., age 10, Navy – “I like that I have lived around the world and that my dad gets to help serve the country.”
G.P., age 8, Marine Corps -“Military life sucks because you have to leave your friends when you move.”
R.T.S., age 8, Navy – “I feel special being a military child because my dad is important. We have been able to see a lot of things being in the military.”
R.R.S., age 8, Navy – “My favorite thing about military life is that I get to meet people from all around the world and country.”
M.J., age 8, Marine Corps – “I love that Daddy can protect us and keep us safe if a bad guy breaks in.”
A.W., age 8, Navy – “I like getting to see lots of places, and li
H.J., age 7, Marine Corps – “My favorite part of military life is the adventures I get to have with family and friends. Every time we move it is somewhere new and fun to explore.”
K.D., age 7, Marine Corps – “Oh that’s a hard one. I like being able to see all the Marine helicopters and vehicles that are on base every day.”
A.P, age 4, Marine Corps – “Military life means papa is always gone a lot.”
G.A., age 4, Army – “The best part about [military life] is watching the Army football game.”
There’s a central theme in these shared thoughts – while there are adventure and exploration involved in military life, there is a lot of leaving and being left behind. Thank you, military children, for being part of your military parent’s support network – it is not an easy task.