The American Red Cross is celebrating the Month of the Military Child with a series of events designed especially for our community’s littlest heroes.
April was designated the Month of the Military Child in 1986 by Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger to officially recognize our nation’s military children for their bravery and resilience. Military children make up a very special part of our country’s population, and the American Red Cross is honored to help acknowledge the unique sacrifices they make as their parents serve our nation.
In keeping with the spirit of the month, staff and volunteers from the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program in the Northeastern New York Region worked with numerous community partners to offer free programming to children of service members, military spouses and veterans throughout April.
Victoria Acres Equine Facility in Altamont welcomed the Red Cross and local military children to learn about horse safety, grooming, stalls and barns on Tuesday, April 15. The children were able to perform ground working exercises with the horses and also enjoyed fun and games throughout the day.
The Albany County Sheriff’s Office invited military children and SAF representatives to explore the behind the scenes work of police officers in our community with a full day of activity on Wednesday, April 16. The children visited the Albany County Court House and Judicial Center, the Military Courtesy Room at the Albany International Airport, the 911 Emergency dispatch station, the Clarksville patrol station and the Albany County Correctional Facility.
On Thursday, April 17, Olympic Silver Medalist Jason Morris opened the doors of the Jason Morris Judo Center in Glenville to military children with the Red Cross. The day’s events were designed to introduce martial arts with a focus on building character, integrity, focus and self-discipline, and were set up by Sifu Jonathan Parsons, a Marine Corp. veteran.
Still to come, Red Cross partners from Yoga Across America will be offering a free Yoga Class for Kids on April 26 at the Red Cross office on Everett Road in Albany. Designed with military children in mind, this class will incorporate breathing practices, meditations, physical practice and yoga nidra to balance the body and quiet the mind.
“I am very grateful for the support that the Red Cross gives to those [who] have loved ones who are serving in harm’s way,” said Melanie. Her son, whose father has been deployed since October 2013, participated in the day of Albany County Sheriff’s Office activities and got a chance not only to tour some exciting locations but also to connect with other military children in his community.
Photos from all Red Cross Month of the Military Child activities can be viewed on Facebook. For more information about Red Cross SAF programs, contact Dianna Rios, SAF Manager, at (518) 694-5160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.