WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (April 21, 2022) White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) hosted a Color Run at Desert Emerald Park to kick off the Month of the Military Child on April 1. The Color Run was a bright celebration organized by U.S. Army Garrison WSMR, Child and Youth Services (CYS). The theme for this year’s observance is: “Military Children and Youth: Standing Strong and Proud.”
The run was a mile long, and there were five spots where runners got blasted with bursts of colorful powders. One of the colorful powders used during the run was purple. It is a significant color representing military kids, and a color CYS uses during their events all month long. Purple combines all the service branches and represents the joint environment that encompasses all the children who serve as a part of the military community. Having people wear purple is a way to unite, show support, and recognize all the sacrifices our military youth makes daily and, for many, throughout their childhood.
"This month is to honor all of our military children and families. These events are a special thanks to the children from our community," said the Outreach Services Director for CYS, Reina Marquez, who has been working with youth at WSMR for 14 years.
In addition to the Color Run, Marquez and her team also had a Family Skate Night, Chalk the Block, and an Easter Egg Hunt. There are still a few more events for the WSMR community to celebrate military kids.
On April 22, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Frontier Club is the “Family Game Night and Scary Campfire S’mores.” Activities that night will include Corn Hole, Jenga and stories being told by the library staff around a campfire.
The month will end with the “Month of the Military Child Celebration” on April 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Soccer Field (building 1318). The event is free to participate in and will have music, food, and fun for the kids.
The CYS is the main point of contact on the installation for families and their children. All parents must go through their office to put their kids into the daycare, the after-school program, enrichment programs, sports, and to utilize many other services.
“It is unique here at WSMR due to our location. CYS is for all Active-Duty Military, civilians, and military retirees, but since White Sands School is public, any kid who attends that school can use our services,” said Marquez.