JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Joint Base San Antonio leaders recognized April as the Month of the Military Child during a proclamation signing ceremony April 1.
Signing the proclamation were Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller, 502d Air Base Wing and JBSA commander, Rear Adm. Cynthia Kuehner, Naval Medical Forces Support Command commander, and Robert Naething, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) deputy to the commanding general.
The Month of the Military Child recognizes the children of military families for their resiliency, sacrifice, courage and unconditional support of their parents who are serving in the U.S. and overseas.
Miller said the Month of the Military Child started in 1986, when it was established by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.
“He thought it was very important that we have a time to recognize the sacrifices children also make as part of a military family,” Miller said. She also recognized that military children move often, almost never staying in one place very long.
Currently, there are 1.2 million children of active-duty service members worldwide. On average, these military children move six to nine times during their school years.
Nita Ford-Hightower, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston school liaison officer, said there are 35,000 plus children throughout JBSA whose parents are military connected or are serving in the military. These children attend schools in 49 school districts within and surrounding JBSA.
“Month of the Military Child is the time to applaud military children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome,” Ford-Hightower said.
During her remarks, Kuehner said, as a former military child and parent who raised children in a dual active-duty household, she recognizes the struggles and challenges military children face because of frequent moves and having to change schools.
“It can be very challenging for children and their families, so this month gives us an opportunity to spotlight and honor our military children, and recognize their sacrifices as well,” she said.
The proclamation ceremony was just the first of several events scheduled at JBSA in April in recognition of Month of the Military Child.
On April 15, JBSA will observe Purple Up! Day to show support for military children. On that day, JBSA members will wear purple to thank military children for their bravery, strength and resiliency. The color purple represents all branches of military services.
Fort Sam Houston, Lackland and Randolph Field Independent School Districts, along with several other JBSA organizations, Youth Programs, Family Child Care, Child Development Centers, Child and Youth Education Services and School-Age Programs, will also host events for military children and families in April.
Month of Military Child events at JBSA include:
The Purple Up! & Celebrate Kids Festival will be held 4 to 6:30 p.m., April 9, at JBSA-Lackland Youth Center, Building 8420. Festival events will include games and outdoor activities, and nutritious snacks will be served. For information, call JBSA-Lackland Youth Programs at 210-671-2388.
A Purple Up Party! will be held 1 to 3 p.m., April 10, at Heritage Park on JBSA-Randolph. This is a drive thru event for parents and children. Activities will include music, games and giveaways. For information, call JBSA-Randolph Youth Programs at 210-652-3298.
A Month of the Military Child Kids Karnival will be held 3:30 to 9 p.m., April 10, at the W. Ed Parker Youth Center, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Building 1630. Activities will include yard games, an electronic game truck, talent show, crafts, face painting and temporary tattoos. The movie “Sandlot” will be shown after sundown. For information, call the W. Ed Parker Youth Center at 210-221-3502.
Additionally, a Month of the Military Child Wave Parade will take place 4:30-6:30 p.m., April 15, at Fort Sam Houston Elementary School.
All COVID-19 protocols will be followed at all events, including mask wearing and physical distancing.