WAYNESVILLE, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson, alongside Maj. Gen. James Bonner, commanding general of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood, spoke at a kick-off event Monday designating April as the Month of the Military Child.
The governor issued the statewide proclamation with other state and local officials at the Waynesville Career Center. Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven, and Waynesville Superintendent of Schools Brian Henry joined Parson to speak at the event. State Rep. Bill Hardwick presented a state resolution recognizing April as the Month of the Military Child.
“Proclaiming April as the Month of the Military Child pays tribute to military children across our state for their commitment and sacrifice as they support the military service member in their family,” Parson said. “When parents serve our country, their kids serve, too.”
To show support for military service members and their children, businesses across the state can hang purple ribbons at their entrances or in their windows.
Bonner, whose daughters graduated from Waynesville High School, said he appreciates the partnership between Fort Leonard Wood and the school district.
“Your efforts improve lives through education each day, and you have the steadfast support, respect and gratitude of the military families who are lucky enough to serve in the Show-Me state,” Bonner told the educators.
All Missourians are encouraged to wear purple on April 15 as part of “Purple Up Day” to show support for military children.
Schools play an important role in the lives of military children, as they are often a source of stability for these students, district officials said. The average military child will move six to nine times during their school career.
“The physical, social and emotional well-being of military children is essential not only to that student’s success in the classroom, but also the success of their family who have dedicated their lives to serving our country,” Vandeven said.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will soon be launching the state’s Purple Star School Program to shine a light on schools that are committed to going above and beyond to welcome, embrace and support military children across the state.
(Editor's note: Portions of this article were originally published by Missouri DESE.)