Tinker celebrates April as Month of the Military Child

  • Published
  • By 2Lt. Kaseyann Cornwall
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Each year, communities worldwide look to April as an important month for children who have one or both parents or guardians serving in uniform.

Considered the military’s youngest heroes, in many ways children serve too. That’s why they’re honored during the observance of Month of the Military Child.

Established in 1986, the Department of Defense continues the Month of the Military Child initiative today. Sponsored by DoD Military Community and Family Policy, the month-long observance acknowledges the important role military children play in their communities and honors their strength, bravery and resilience.

The highly mobile, military lifestyle impacts every member of the family with frequent relocations, and a life of uncertainty and change being the norm. Children sacrifice close relationships and endure deployments or separations along with their loved ones in uniform.

“I think it's important to recognize military kids for their sacrifice and bravery on the home front," said Shelly Salisbury, 72nd Force Support Squadron Marketing director. “Military life impacts the entire family. On average, military families move every two to three years, and it's a big deal to move schools and support systems that often, so we need to recognize military kids for that.”

Purple is the symbolic color of the Military Child. The color has a special meaning in the military, representing anything joint in nature where all branches of the nation’s military services work together for a common goal. The Dandelion is the symbolic flower, owing to the plant’s ability to thrive almost anywhere the wind takes it.

Team Tinker will be holding a number of events to celebrate the Month of the Military Child:

            April 1, 6 p.m. at the Tinker Event Center: Kickoff Party and Proclamation Signing. Event will feature free food, a candy bar, swag bags a photo booth and door prizes. Admission is open to anyone with base access.

            April 12, Dusk at Scissortail Park: Purple Up! Event at Scissortail Park. Guests will see the Skydance Bridge lit purple in honor of the Month of the Military Child and will feature activities, a scavenger hunt and prizes.

            April 15: Members of Team Tinker are encouraged to wear purple in support of Military Children. Military members are authorized to wear purple undershirts with their uniform.

In addition to these events, an event designed to help children understand their military parents’ is scheduled for April 20.

Operation K.U.D.O.S., which stands for Kids Understanding Deployment Operations, is an annual program that lets Military Children ages 7-18 go through a mock deployment to help them understand what their parents do when they deploy in a fun environment. Operation K.U.D.O.S. is free but online registration is required.

“We equip our warriors for deployment with the utmost diligence, ensuring their children are enveloped in unwavering support and comprehensive resources,” said, Jonathan Leathers, 72nd Force Support Squadron military readiness flight chief. “This dedication reflects our commitment to the resilience and well-being of every military child, underscoring their pivotal role in our armed forces family.”

For more information on Month of the Military Child event dates and times, call the Youth Center at 405-734-7866.