FORT SILL, Oklahoma (April 7, 2022) — April is all about military children and Fort Sill’s School Age Services Center is upping the ante with events scheduled all week to bring awareness to Month of the Military Child.
Month of the Military Child emphasizes the important role military children play in the armed forces community. Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices and the challenges they overcome.
“We recognize, honor and celebrate the sacrifices that both children and youth make,” said Outreach Services Director Carrie Bradke. “That's a vital role, not only to their military parents, but to the community and our nation.”
To recognize and honor the sacrifices made by military children, Bradke and her staff began the week with “Purple Up Day” where children and staff are encouraged to wear purple in a visible way to show support and thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices.
Wednesday, staff and children dressed like their servicemembers in camouflage for “Camo Up Day,” followed with crazy socks Thursday.
Staff and students closed the week in MotMC t-shirts sponsored and provided by area businesses, said Bradke.
While events like that make the day fun and give the children the recognition they deserve, it also brings awareness to the experiences military children share, said Bradke. She said support and understanding is key when working with these children.
“These children can move anywhere from 8 to 10 times throughout their school-age career,” said Bradke. “That is a huge social/emotional connection that they lose and have to go through every time they transition. So, what we need to do is support them as a community.”
While service members may have some choice in their moves, rarely will the child have a choice. However, these moves can be beneficial, said Bradke.
“They are building up resiliency and taking on the role of being a military child to the next level,” Bradke said. “So, every April we celebrate them and salute them for their courage and for standing strong and tall.”
There will be a number of activities on Fort Sill to celebrate the Month of the Military Child including an Easter egg hunt and the Spring Festival at Lake Elmer Thomas Recreational Area, said Bradke.
For more information, contact Child, Youth and School Services at 706-545-6811.
April 16 — Easter Egg Hunt — Free at Cowen/Butner Field
• 11 a.m. — 2 p.m. (Egg hunt starts at noon)
• 4 age groups with over 35,000 eggs
o 6 months – 2 years — Noon
o 3 – 6 years — 12:10 p.m.
o 7 – 9 years — 12:20 p.m.
o 10 – 12 years — 12:20 p.m.
o EFMP section — 12:40 p.m.
First 480 children will get a free hot air balloon kit. Bounce houses, games and handouts will be available as well as food trucks on hand for food and snack purchases.
April 23 — Spring Festival — Free at LETRA
From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. the recreation area will host putt-putt golf, paddle boats, cornhole, archery and more. There will also be outreach and crafts tables with food trucks on hand for food and snack purchases.
For more information, call (580)442-4329.