Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh reads “The World Needs More Purple People” to children during the annual Tell Me a Story event at the APG north recreation center March 31.
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(Photo Credit: Rachel Ponder )
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(From left) Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh greets Maj. Gen. Antonio Munera, commander of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command and his grandson Luca Munera. |
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (From left) Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh greets Maj. Gen. Antonio Munera, commander of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command and his grandson Luca Munera. | (Photo Credit: Rachel Ponder ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Anselm Beach, senior advisor to the secretary of the Army for Diversity and Inclusion, serves as the guest speaker at the during the annual Tell Me a Story event at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center March 31.
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ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. –To kick off the APG Month of the Military Child celebration, garrison children were encouraged to embrace their uniqueness during a special reading by Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh, during the annual Tell Me a Story event at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center March 31.

More than 48 families and 90 children registered and took part in the event, both at the facility itself and through live broadcast. Anselm Beach, senior advisor to the secretary of the Army for Diversity and Inclusion, served as the guest speaker.

This was the first expanded event since the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be an annual program. It was hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and held in concert with the Military Child Education Coalition, or MCEC.

FMWR Director Joe Moscone welcomed attendees. He said he is excited to be able to offer an in-person Tell Me A Story Event once again.

“Welcome back all the children and families again, live at this facility,” he said. “And those who are tuning in at home as well to help us refocus on literacy and the value of reading.”

APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Rob Edmonson thanked the “little ones who are part of our Army Strong family.” Speaking to the children, Edmonson said he was a military child.

“We really appreciate all that you do in support of your moms and dads,” he said.

He then led the children in a “Purple People” cheer. Purple is the color to signify military children because it combines Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue —and coincidentally, it is the Ravens’ color as well.

MCEC volunteer Elizabeth Groover, a spouse of a military veteran and a U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM, civilian, thanked everyone who made the event possible. The Tell Me a Story event was designed to build resiliency and caring communities. It is important to build communities who care, she said.

“Growing up as Army ‘brats’ brings some wonderful things, different communities; different experiences; what it also brings are different challenges that are absolutely unique to military children,” she said. “That is where MCEC comes in; the Military Child Education Coalition was really designed to provide resources to military families to help them with their education and their transitions.”

More ‘Purple People’ 

The children gathered around Harbaugh as he read “The World Needs More Purple People” by authors Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart. He thanked the organizers for being invited to be a guest reader.

“We take care of our families first,” Harbaugh said regarding the Ravens. “It is just an honor; and nobody is more special than military kids. So, we appreciate you very much, it means a lot to us, a lot to the Ravens.”

The book said “Purple People” are themselves, ask questions, are hard workers and “laugh a lot.”

“You got to be the best you because everyone else is taken,” he said.

Harbaugh invited the children to ask questions after the reading and led them in a clapping game.

“It was great to be with you guys,” he said.

Paying tribute 

Beach said military children are kind, strong and resilient, having to face frequent moves because their parents go “where the nation calls them to go.” There are times, he told the children, where you might not fit in.

“You get to be very kind, being kind helps to include others,” he said. “You already know sometimes how it feels to be left out. Now, as you grow into your kindness, what you are really doing is creating an environment where people are being included.”

Another advantage of being a military child is being part of “the biggest network” in the world.

“You get lasting friendships and networks that put you way ahead of everybody else,” he said.

APG Garrison Commander Col. Johnny Casiano said military families are a treasure. He told the military children to “be proud.”

“Being part of a military family, children have an advantage because of the uniqueness of this community,” he said. “I would reiterate about our differences making us better every day, and being exactly who we should be. You want to be a good leader? Be a good person first.”

After the formal portion of the event, children participated in activities and they had the opportunity to get “The World Needs More ‘Purple People’” signed by Harbaugh and get a photo taken with him. They also received gift bags.