Since first being established by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1986, April has been designated the Month of the Military Child. The purpose of this special observance is to honor the sacrifices made worldwide by military families, with a focus on their dependent children. According to the Department of Defense, there are approximately 1.88 million military children aged 22 and younger. Of those children, 1.17 million are the children of active duty service members.
Being a part of a military family is a unique experience for children. Frequent moves can mean a long explanation to explain where you’re from, and there’s a good chance siblings have all been born in different states/locations. However, military kids (or Military B.R.A.T.S, which stands for ‘Born Rough And Tough’) are raised strong, and learn crucial life lessons early on.
Adaptability Comes Naturally
As mentioned, military families move around, a lot. However the constant change can breed an ability to thrive in new environments. As one military child explained, “every zone is a comfort zone”, and “I can’t even begin to explain how it’s helped me with leaving college, moving (once again) to a new state and adapting to the professional, real world.”
Diversity is Enriching
Directly related to adaptability is what causes a need to adapt: diversity. Moving from the warmth and eternal summer of one state to the frigid winter temperatures of another can be jarring, but also fulfilling. Beyond a change in climate, moving to different regions and even countries exposes you to, as one military child put it, “different ideologies, different foods, and different forms of art are introduced to (military) brats from a very young age.” Having this unique experience gives military kids a more well-rounded view of the world.
Time With the Whole Family is Precious
Deployments happen, and they can even be back-to-back, with minimal notice. When the entire family is together, it’s important to make sure everyone spends some time together. There are a few tips to help ensure parents make the most of family time. Disconnecting from technology is as important for the parents as it is for the kids. It’s the best way to be as present as possible in the moment! Family time shouldn’t be left to chance either. Planning family time ensures that it happens, especially when another deployment may be on the horizon.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the Month of the Military Child, we hope that it involves quality time with the ones you love. To help you plan your activities, here are some ideas of ways to support your military child and here are a few great deals and discounts for military families. Enjoy and have fun!
Posted on April 16 2018 in Blog