Fort Bragg volksmarch celebrates Month of Military Child
April 15, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Youth sometimes become accustomed to being the center of attention, but in April, that axiom is taken to a higher level. The month is designated by the Department of Defense as the Month of the Military Child.
In recognition of that distinction, more than 600 youth from various child development centers on Fort Bragg and Pope Field participated in this year's volksmarch, April 4. The volksmarch began and ended at Rodriguez CDC on Sicily Drive.
The walk was coordinated by the Family child care providers and had participation from children up to 5 years old, said Renee Nixon, assistant director at Rodriguez CDC.
Adriana Miller, 5, kicked off the volksmarch with a welcome message telling everyone to have a good time.
Jace Jordan, 4, who attends the Fernandez CDC, performed the ribbon cutting.
For Jordan Rowe, 4, the day provided an opportunity for something not entirely uncommon - fun and playing.
But, for caretakers, the volksmarch seemed to mean something far more important.
"These are the kids we take care of everyday," said Shirley Prewitt, a program lead teacher at Rodgers CDC, on Second Street. "We want to support the Soldier by taking care of their children and by doing a great job at it," she said.
Julie Morel traveled from her home in the St. Mere Eglise neighborhood to watch her son, Caden, 5, participate in the volksmarch. Morel said she purposely chooses to enroll Caden in an on-post facility.
"I chose this (Prager CDC) for a pre-k instead of my son going to a regular school," she said. "They're just more one-on-one and the teachers are awesome."
Caden was excited about the volksmarch and anxious to participate, Julie said.
According to the DoD, there are 1.8 million American children and youth under the age of 18 with a parent serving in the military and about 900,000 with one or both parents deployed multiple times. This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Month of the Military Child, when installations worldwide host programs and activities to recognize military childrens' sacrifices, heroism, character, courage and continued resilience.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has long recognized the importance of military children.
"Our military children are awesome, just as their parents are," Gates has said. ". . . We have a sacred responsibility to care for them."