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NEWS | April 16, 2024

JBSA salutes military children in April, year-round

By Lori A. Bultman 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Serving one’s country does not necessarily mean serving in the military. The life of a miliary child can be just as stressful, and rewarding, as that of their service member parents. 

In 1986, former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger recognized just that when he dedicated April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the sacrifices and accomplishments of military children worldwide.

“This is a special month for me because I too am a military brat,” said Brig. Gen. Russell D. Driggers, commander, Joint Base San Antonio and 502nd Air Base Wing, during his remarks at the JBSA Month of the Military Child proclamation signing April 1, 2024. 

Joining Driggers for the signing were three of JBSA’s outstanding military children; Leandra Garcia, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston’s Youth of the Year and the Texas State Military Youth of the Year; Elizabeth Note, JBSA-Lackland's Youth of the Year; and Jasony Ford, JBSA Randolph’s Youth of the Year. 

In his remarks, Driggers detailed his unique experience as a military child, and then as a military parent.

He highlighted the bravery and resilience of military children and how JBSA strengthens support for our families.  

Driggers went on to say, “That’s why Purple Up! Day, April 15, is a day when everyone is encouraged to wear purple. It’s another opportunity for us to let our children see just how much we support them and are here for them.”

He continued by recognizing that non-military community members may not fully understand what military children go through to know how to offer support. 

“Sometimes the local communities don’t know the invisible stresses that happen for military children,” he explained.

While Month of the Military Child is an important showing of gratitude, it is also important to support military children year-round.  

“With roughly two million total-force dependent children in the Department of Defense, school liaisons play a vital role in supporting military-connected families,” said Andrea Black, JBSA school liaison. 

“The average military family moves every two years, and the average military child attends ten different schools by the time they graduate,” she said. “Liaisons are available to assist with identifying barriers and developing solutions for academic success, despite moves.  

“We provide students, parents, and school personnel with the tools to overcome obstacles that stem from the military lifestyle,” she said. “By working together, we can all help build a support network to provide the best possible education experience for military-connected children and youth.” 

Look for Month of the Military Child activities and events on the announcements page and on JBSA social media. Also, watch for more on JBSA’s military children of the year later this month under News on