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DoD, Services Celebrate Month of the Military Child

By Barbara Goodno
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2008 – The Department of Defense, military services and communities around the world once again are set to recognize the importance of military children whose parents serve their country.

The month-long recognition, first celebrated in 1986, is especially important today as resilient families manage long separations, said Leslye A. Arsht, deputy under secretary for military community and family policy.

“Our military children are proud of their moms and dads for their brave defense of our great country,” Arsht said. “The Month of the Military Child events and activities let us show the youngest members of our military family – the children – how proud we are of their contributions, too. Our military children are unsung heroes. This is our chance to thank them for being so supportive of their parents.”

Growing up in a military family offers some challenges, but it also provides some special rewards and pride for their parents' service, she said. About half of military children, or 1.2 million, have had a parent deploy.

“It’s essential to recognize that military children make significant contributions for the country while their parents are away on long deployments,” Arsht said. “Despite multiple moves throughout their school years, military children are resilient and self-confident. They have strengths admired by many – especially their parents.”

Kick-off ceremonies and special activities will be held across the world at many military installations, schools and local communities throughout the April Month of the Military Child. Arsht encourages families to participate.

“We are grateful to our many community partners who join in this salute,” she says. “Families also serve – including the children.”

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