Each year, April is set aside as a military child appreciation month, officially known as Month of the Military Child. With its start in the mid-1980s, the Pentagon and other military support organizations and agencies use the month to recognize military kids for their sacrifice and bravery on the homefront.
The term "military brat" is a badge of pride worn by generations of kids who traveled the world with their parents, moving into adulthood with the knowledge that they have the strength to handle anything. Military children deal with separations, deployments, frequent moves and even their parents' injuries as part of the life they were born into or entered with their families.
Because purple is a color used to represent all military services, the theme "Purple Up" is used over the course of the month.
Their strength and resiliency is inspirational.
Military Child Discounts
Some businesses offer discounts and freebies as a part of Month of the Military Child. Parents should check in their local area for specific programs.
The Army and Air Force Exchange (AAFES) in 2019 is giving away a "military brat patch" on April 6 at stores worldwide. And on April 13 participating Exchanges restaurants will be offering a free side item, drink of dessert for kids wearing purple.
Many businesses also offer discounts for military children. Check out these military discounts that celebrate military kids.
Military Child Events
Military bases worldwide offer events and celebrations during April as part of the Month of the Military Child. From carnivals and festivals, to giveaways and freebies, family officials spend the month making military children feel special. Parents should check with their local base for details on the events in their area.
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) wants students to wear purple on April 18 in celebration of the month and what they're calling "Purple Up" day.
Military Child Contest
A second annual coloring contest over April at the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) will select submissions to be printed on a reusable commissary grocery bag. Each winner will receive a free box of the bags. The coloring sheet is available online, and entries can be submitted by email or dropped off at commissary stores.
Military Child Awards
Each April Operation Homefront marks Month of the Military Child by hosting a gala and awards presentation for their Military Child of the Year Awards. In 2019 one winner from each branch is receiving a trip to the gala with a parent or other guardian, a $10,000 prize, a laptop computer and other donated gifts.
The Military Child of the Year awardees are selected through a nomination process that begins each fall. Children ages 13 to 18 are eligible for the awards, and awardees are selected based on their "scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria while facing the challenges of military family life," according to Operation Homefront.