NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.—April is designated as the Month of the Military Child by Department of Defense Education Activity.
This awareness month was established to underscore the important role children play in the Armed Forces community.
Military children face unique challenges: extended family separations, frequent moves and the stress of deployments.
The MOMC is a way to celebrate the unique aspects of being a military child that most other children outside the military will never have to face. Special events for MOMC have been taking place all month at Nellis AFB to recognize these children.
One of the ways DODEA is recognizing military children this year is through Purple Up! For Military Kids on April 21. They are encouraging military families and local communities to wear purple in support of military children’s strength and sacrifices.
“MOMC is designed to highlight our kids and their unique experiences in life,” said Keana Sullivan, Nellis Child Development Center director. “We do something every day, usually something fun. We have activities such as crazy hair day, sports day, trike-a-thon, our annual spaghetti dinner and we finish up the month with an ice cream social which is always a big hit.”
According to Sullivan, some people might look at what military children have to go through as negatives but she prefers to look at all the positives that come along with it.
“There is a significant difference in their life experience in the world and we really just need to celebrate that,” said Sullivan. “It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different, but we are all different together and this month is just a celebration of that. It gives them something to be happy about and we try to celebrate the positives of being a military child. We are still unique and valued and there is something to be joyous about in their experiences as military children.”
While this month is meant, first of all, to acknowledge the adjustments that each child is required to make. Secondly, it calls to attention how important the support systems in place for these children are, especially when their parents can’t always be around.
“I’m honored that I’m able to be here and be an advocate to help out these families,” said Ciera Jones, Nellis Child Development Center pre-school teacher. “We go through a lot here. From deployments, temporary deployments, permanent change of station, there is constantly something going on and it can be hard on the child. It just means a lot to me that I get to be a part of this journey of assuring families that their children will be taken care of no matter what.”