FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Military family life can be both rewarding and challenging, and an upcoming contest seeks to give youth a chance to share their stories.

The contest, held in conjunction with the Month of the Military Child, invites military youth to answer the question "what does it mean to be a military child?"

LaShia Davis, Fort Rucker Child and Youth Services youth technology program associate, said the contest allows military youth to share their stories.

"Youth are able to connect and feel a part of their community," she said.

According to Davis, the contest falls in line with MOMC's theme of "Young Lives, Big Stories."

"The Young Lives, Big Stories Contest is important because military youth have the opportunity to inspire and share their expressed artwork or written piece," she said. "Youth enjoy expressing their appreciation in recognizing or giving thanks to military family members."

Youth are invited to submit original drawings or written pieces expressing what it means to be a military child. Drawings may be submitted by three age groups: ages 3-4, 5-years-old to first grade and second through third grade.

Written submissions are open to youth in grades fourth through 12th and will be divided into fourth through fifth, sixth through eighth, and ninth through 12th.

Entrants must have primary creative control of their submission and all submission materials must be original. In the case of the categories for ages 3 through third grade, parents may assist with the two-to-three-sentence description of the submission.

"It is important for Fort Rucker youth to share their stories because sharing will open the voices of many others," Davis said. "Youth can build on a foundation of taking us on a journey through their eyes. It will enlighten and uplift their self-confidence to see the work of their hands."

One winner will be chosen from each category and an overall winner will receive a grand prize.

Submissions must be received or postmarked by 11:59 p.m. central standard time April 30.

Entries can be submitted online at by clicking the enter button on the webpage and following the submission instructions or through email at

Any use of drugs, violence, profanity, and tobacco or alcohol in drawings or written submissions will disqualify the entry from the contest.

If entrants cannot submit online or via email, submissions will be accepted by mail to:

Department of the Army
IMCOM G9 - Child and Youth Services
ATTN: CYS Parent and Outreach Services
2455 Reynolds Rd.
JBSA, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7588