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JBSA leaders recognize contributions of military children at proclamation signing

By David DeKunder | 502d Air Base Wing Public Affairs | March 29, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

Joint Base San Antonio leaders recognized the contributions of military children and families during a proclamation ceremony designating April as Month of the Military Child at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston March 29.

The ceremony was held in the Texas Room at the U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) Headquarters. Signing the proclamation were Brig. Gen. Laura Lenderman, JBSA and 502nd Air Base Wing commander; Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, ARNORTH commanding general; and Capt. William Leonard, Navy Medicine Education and Training Command deputy commander.

Started in 1986, Month of the Military Child is sponsored by the Department of Defense and recognizes the important role of military children and families worldwide in the armed forces, acknowledging the sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome on a daily basis.

Attending the proclamation signing were five students from the Fort Sam Houston Independent School District and their parents, along with Dr. Gary Bates, Fort Sam Houston ISD superintendent; Dr. Joseph Cerna, Fort Sam Houston Elementary School principal; Tonya Hyde, Lackland Independent School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction; and Quiana Abner and Nita Ford-Hightower, JBSA school liaison officers.

The schoolchildren at the ceremony wore purple shirts, signifying the combination of colors of for all branches of the military, and reminding JBSA members to wear purple on April 12, “Purple Up! For Military Kids” day to support military children in recognizing “their personal sacrifices and their unwavering courage,” in supporting their military parents, according to the proclamation signed by the JBSA leaders.

Buchanan said as someone who was raised in a military family and is a father of military children, he knows the experiences military children go through in moving from one place to another.

“I know something about your life,” Buchanan said to the military schoolchildren. “It’s important for your dads and moms that they have pride in you and everything that you do, whether it’s membership in school or sports teams, scouts. You need to know that they care for you and by your resilience, you actually help them in a lot of ways.

“Having raised military children I can tell you that my kids, who are now in their 30s, are some of the most resilient people that I know,” Buchanan said.

Leonard also remarked about the importance of family in a servicemember’s life.

“There’s nothing that melts a Sailor’s heart more than a ship pulling back into port and having a family lined up on the piers,” Leonard said.

Information on Month of the Military Child can be found at the Department of Defense Education Activity website at https://www.dodea.edu/dodeaCelebrates/Military-Child-Month.cfm.