Holly Logan-Arrington

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Children of military parents didn’t sign up for the service, rather they were into the “service before self” way of life.

Sacrifice is often a part of that lifestyle, and most learn to be resilient along the way.

April was designated as Month of the Military Child by former Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, in 1986, to honor military children for the sacrifices they make and the strength and resilience they display each and every day.

Renee Daughtry, School Liaison in the 78th Mission Support Group at Robins, said Robins usually hosts a range of events to celebrate the month, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the base community is taking an online approach for the observance.

“Normally, we work closely with our local schools and they host events and activities to honor their military students each April,” she said. “This year, we are having Virtual Spirit Days every Wednesday throughout April. On April 17, Team Robins and Middle Georgia were asked to Purple Up For Military Kids. .   Purple Up! For Military Kids Day allows us to show our support for military kids and appreciation for their strength and sacrifices by wearing purple.”

Purple symbolizes “joint” in the military world.  In the world of color, if you combine Air Force blue, Army green, Marine red, and Navy blue, you get purple.

“The goal of Purple Up! is for military youth to actually see the support in their communities and schools,” Daughtry said.  “Team Robins and the Houston County School District have joined together in honoring our military children virtually.  The district has changed their entire website in honor of the Month of the Military Child and they even turned their logo purple.”

It’s all in an effort to celebrate the resiliency and sacrifice of military children.

Daughtry said the military’s ever-changing lifestyle has made service members’ children resilient.

“Just as our military members are brave and strong, so are our military children,” she said. “It’s what they know. The average military child moves on average to six-nine schools during their K-12 years and some attend even more schools than that. During those critical years in their childhood, they have to move over and over. With each permanent change of station, they leave their friends and become the new kid at their next school.”

In addition to the academic challenges of varying course requirements from state to state, many of these children have their moms, dads or both parents deployed far from home for months or even a year at a time – and still they thrive.

“Military parents are known for instilling outstanding values and strength in their children,” Daughtry said.  “The current COVID-19 situation has presented new challenges, but it’s no surprise that our military children are handling these challenges with resilience and courage in the face of adversity.”

Linda Cleveland, Youth director at Robins Youth Center, said military children are unique.

“They have to adapt to so much at a young age,” she said. “Their parents being deployed and on top of that, moving and having to make new friends. I feel that military children are unique because of what they have to deal with.”

In the event that a child is struggling, Robins has numerous resources like Military Family Life Counselors, the school liaison and numerous other helping agencies to help get families through this difficult time.