Texas 4-H Military Partnership urges military youth recognition

April is Month of Military Child; April 12 is Purple Up! Day

Elementary school students Purple Up! to show their support of military children. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

TEMPLE – Gov. Greg Abbott has joined in the designation of April as the Month of the Military Child and April 12 as Purple Up! Day. The Texas 4-H Military Partnership is urging Texans to use this month, and especially Purple Up! activities, to honor the role of youth in military families.

“April was designated the Month of the Military Child in 1986 as way to bring attention to the significant role military youth play in supporting the mission of a military parent,” said JaNelle Casson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 4-H youth development specialist, Temple.

Casson, who works with Texas 4-H Youth Outreach and Texas 4-H Military, said military children must often adjust to frequent moves, adapt to having a parent deployed and face the risk of a parent being injured.

“April is the time to honor and show appreciation for our military families and particularly their children for the many sacrifices they make so their parents can do their military duty,“ she said.  “Texas 4-H Military Partnerships create opportunities and provide support to military-connected youth, whether they live on or near an installation or in our communities. We also work to engage others in the community to understand and recognize the unique challenges children in military families face and show our appreciation for how they face those challenges.”

She said the partnership is urging Texans to demonstrate their support of military youth throughout the month and especially on April 12. The partnership also encourages 4-H programs and youth organizations to identify their military children to ensure they are supported throughout their life, not just during deployments or the month of April.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension employees  Caroline McLaren (left) and Sayako Seymour participated at the recent Famaganza military youth celebration at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

“Purple Up! is a national initiative to encourage children in school and youth groups, teachers, business people and others in the community to wear purple to acknowledge and honor military youth.

“The reason for wearing purple is that this color represents all branches of the military — Army green, Marine red, and Coast Guard, Air Force and Navy blues,” Casson explained.

Casson said in addition to individuals wearing purple on that day, some ways to involve others is to ask employees in local, regional, state and federal offices to wear purple, make signs or banners recognizing military youth, and involve community organizations, after-school programs, fraternal organizations or others in Purple Up! activities.

“We are hoping in some way the 4-H Military Partnership can help inspire others to show their appreciation for everything these young people have to endure and adjust to as their parents serve in the military,” she said. “Military youth are often the unsung heroes of the military, and we hope Texans will help us honor them throughout the month and Purple Up! for them on April 12.”

For more information about the Month of the Military Child and Purple Up! Day, go to https://militarybenefits.info/month-of-the-military-child/

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Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: JaNelle Casson, 254-774-6046, janelle.casson@ag.tamu.edu

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