April is the “Month of the Military Child,” a time to honor youth impacted by deployment.
When members of the armed forces deploy to serve their country, their family members – and especially children – also make sacrifices. In recognition of these sacrifices, the American Red Cross, Colorado National Guard and Colorado Operation: Military Kids (OMK) have joined forces to draw attention to the estimated 35,000 school-age kids who are part of military families in Colorado.
Activities will include a “Purple Up! For Military Kids” day on April 12 and a month-long essay contest with prizes for essay winners.
PURPLE UP! FOR MILITARY KIDS – FRIDAY, APRIL 12
Red Cross employees, volunteers and supporters will don purple on Friday, April 12, to show their support for the thousands of youth whose lives are affected by a family member’s sacrifice and service to the country through the U.S. armed forces.
The 2nd annual “Purple Up! For Military Kids” celebration is sponsored by Colorado Operation: Military Kids (OMK), part of the 4-H Youth Development program of CSU Extension.
OMK is encouraging everyone across the state of Colorado to wear purple on Friday, April 12, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue. OMK hopes everyone will take this opportunity to appreciate and celebrate these young heroes.
Businesses, churches, clubs, and other groups are encouraged to take part in this statewide recognition.
YOUTH ESSAY CONTEST – APRIL 1-MAY 3
The Red Cross is also co-sponsoring an essay contest in partnership with the Colorado National Guard Youth Program. The contest is open to kindergarten through 12th grade students in Colorado. Although the contest is sponsored by the National Guard, entrants can write about family members in any branch of the military or National Guard (active duty or reserves).
The Red Cross will award $20 gift card prizes to winners in 7 grade categories, as well as a Nintendo Wii to one grand-prize essay winner.
2013 Month of the Military Child Youth Essay Contest – “Military Children: Proud, Ready and Resilient”
The Red Cross is supporting these activities as part of its Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program. Although best known for its disaster response, the Red Cross in fact has a long history of serving members of the armed forces through every war of the 20th century and continuing today. Red Cross SAF programs include pre- and post-deployment briefings for members of the military; emergency communications between deployed military and their families back home; support for military families while their loved ones are deployed; and assistance at veterans and military hospitals.