Military families are at the forefront of today’s headlines. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, recently launched a campaign to rally support for U.S. service members and their families.
And April is designated as the Month of the Military Child. Gov. Rick Snyder kicked off the month in Michigan by signing a proclamation. This year’s theme is “Celebrate Military Children, the Strength of Our Future.” It’s an opportunity to recognize military children and youth for their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience.
Michigan State University Extension 4-H Operation: Military Kids (OMK) and its state partners are putting on a series of military child appreciation days during the month of April. During the events, military kids receive certificates at an award ceremony and take part in fun activities. On April 8, during Military Child Appreciation Day, military families got to experience what the Detroit Science Center had to offer. Another Military Child Appreciation Day took place on April 10 at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. Activities included a family barbecue, a self-guided tour of the zoo, and a special animal presentation. And yet another appreciation day will take place at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, April 23.
Military kids took part in two Red Cross babysitter’s trainings and a youth sports clinic as part of the Month of the Military Child as well.
All of these activities let military kids know that they are appreciated.
Operation: Military Kids is led at MSUE by Kendra Moyses, OMK project director, and B’Onko Sadler, military state liaison.
According to B’Onko, we need to remember that children serve, too.
“They endure stress and other issues associated with deployment. We provide programming and events that connect them to other youth experiencing the same or similar situations,” he said.