By Tonya Townsell, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsApril 3, 2014
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- During April, U.S. military installations around the globe, including the Presidio of Monterey, will recognize the contributions and sacrifices service members' sons and daughters make daily.
April is Month of the Military Child and is being celebrated with a theme of "Celebrate Military Children: Young Lives, Big Stories" on Army garrisons.
Accordingly, garrison-level Child, Youth and School Services programs will hold special events to honor Soldiers' children. These events will stress the importance of providing children with quality services and support promised them through the Army Family Covenant, according to Installation Management Command officials.
Since 1986, Army installations around the world have recognized the sacrifices and applauded the courage of military children by celebrating the Month of the Military Child. The monthlong celebration also reinforces to military children that they are, indeed, a key part of the armed forces community.
The Month of the Military Child typically creates awareness of the sacrifices military children make and the service they provide. This year's theme, "Young Lives, Big Stories" also highlights the unique lifestyles and contributions military children make to our nation.
Locally, the Presidio's big event is "Celebrating Military Children" at the Porter Youth Center on Ord Military Community 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 12.
The free event will focus on educating parents and children about child-abuse prevention, safety, health and other local resources available in the community. There will be face painting, play areas, bounce houses, video games, arts and crafts, food and more. There will also be a special Celebrating Military Teen Zone with a hoops-shooting competition, video games, jam session and more.
It is difficult for men and women in uniform to focus on military missions if they are worried about their children at home. Providing a safe, nurturing environment for military children creates a stronger more resilient fighting force.
The Month of the Military Child reinforces this concept, reminds the nation that the service members' children also serve, and gives communities an opportunity to share their gratitude for the service of military children during the "Young Lives, Big Stories" campaign.
YOUNG LIVES, BIG STORIES CONTEST
Preschool children through high school seniors are invited to share their story about what it means to be a military child with photos, words, drawings or videos in the Army MWR-sponsored "Young Lives, Big Stories" contest. Prizes will be awarded to an overall winner and the top entries in each category. For more details, visit www.armymwr.com/momc-big-stories.aspx.
(Localized from IMCOM Public Affairs articles. Additional information provided by American Forces Press Service.)