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Outreach

4-H program Operation: Military Kids recognizes Month of the Military Child

April 29, 2009

April marks a very special month in the lives of military families. Operation: Military Kids joins the U.S. Department of Defense in recognizing April as the Month of the Military Child, a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and challenges they overcome. Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, established April as the Month of the Military Child in 1986, underscoring the importance of military children and their role in military families.


“Military families learn to be flexible, but extended hours and long deployments often prove to be difficult for America’s military children. This month provides our community with a time to celebrate the unique lifestyles of our military youth and the adjustments their families make during deployments and wartime,” said Shauna Woods, Colorado Operation: Military Kids program coordinator. 

Operation: Military Kids is a partnership of Army Child and Youth Services, USDA National 4-H Headquarters, and Colorado State University 4-H Youth Development.

Camp for military families May 2-3

Eighty-five military families from around the state with service members who have either been deployed or are deployed, will be the guests at a special camp in offered in partnership with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science titled, “Under a Middle Eastern Sky” beginning at 5:30 p.m. May 2 and ending at 11 a.m. on May 3. The camp in theme allows military children and youth learn about life in Iraq and Afghanistan in comparison to their lives as Americans. Food, language, the night skies and astronomy, dress and culture will be explored through hands on workshops at the museum. After free time and an IMAX show, the families will sleep on the museum gallery floors in this unique museum experience. Soldiers who have been deployed and with souvenirs from their Iraqi or Afghani experiences will have displays during the evening.

So why recognize the sacrifices of the children of our military?

These children make sacrifices and serve their country as much as anyone in uniform does, quietly shouldering part of the burden, supporting their mom or dad and showing their understanding that what their parents are doing is important. Military parents often have to miss holidays and special occasions, and children are left home to worry while parents go on difficult missions. The needs of families are impacted by deployment, making the children uproot, change schools and say goodbye to friends. Because military children have to transition and adapt a lot, they gain great life experience and maturity at a young age. April serves as a reminder for military families that there is support available to them with resources to help.

Operation: Military Kids encourages Colorado to support their community of military families by reaching out to military neighbors or local military facilities to see how you can best utilize your time and talent to show your appreciation during the Month of the Military Child. Operation: Military Kids is the U.S. Army’s collaborative effort with America’s communities to support children and youth of National Guard, Reserve and Active duty families impacted by the Overseas Contingency Operations.

4-H Military Liaisons

State 4-H Military Liaisons lead OMK state teams in partnership with the National Guard, Reserve, the Military Child Education Coalition, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, The American Legion and schools. OMK sponsors programs which provide support to American soldiers and their families and includes education, Hero Packs, babysitting training, a youth speakers' bureau and a mobile technology lab that helps kids stay connected with their deployed parent.

There are several ways to support our military families and for more information please go to our national website www.operationmilitarykids.org or contact Shauna Woods at (970) 491-1807 or shauna.woods@colostate.edu.


Contact: Shauna Woods
E-mail: shauna.woods@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-1807