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Purple Up! For Military Kids: April is Month of the Military Child

April 6, 2011

April marks the nation’s “Month of the Military Child,” a time to honor youth impacted by deployment. In celebration, New Hampshire Operation: Military Kids (OMK) is partnering with multiple groups across the state to hold special events during April, and into May and June.

The first event takes place April 15, “Purple Up! For Military Kids.” NH Operation: Military Kids is asking everyone across the state of New Hampshire to wear purple as a visible way to show support and to thank military children for their sacrifices while their family members are deployed.

Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue. OMK hopes everyone will take this opportunity to celebrate these young heroes. You can even send a photo to omk@ceunh.unh.edu where it will posted on nhomk.com and viewed by many.
NH OMK, part of the 4-H youth development program of UNH Cooperative Extension, is offering additional events to honor these amazing youth. At each event, Hero Packs will be distributed to any child who hasn’t previously received one. These backpacks contain items designed to help connect kids with their deployed family member, and hand-delivera salute to military youth for their strength and sacrifices.

The following events specifically for military families may also include an opportunity to meet youth trained through the OMK babysitting program. Pre-registration is required , unless noted. Events include:

  • Saturday, May 14, 1-4 p.m., the UNH kinesiology department, Rockingham County Extension 4-H youth development, and OMK will hold a day for kids to use the indoor climbing wall. Military children of Strafford and Rockingham counties will be able to climb free—with instruction. Fun games, activities and refreshments will also be available.
  • Friday, April 29, Belknap County Extension 4-H Youth Development will host a military family dance at the Laconia Middle School from 7 – 10 p.m. Light refreshments will be available.
  • Memorial Day weekend, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover is offering free admission for military families. The weekend is being underwritten by BAE Systems. Museum Hours: Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12 p.m. -5 p.m., Monday  10 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration not required.
  • Tuesday, June 21, 6:30 p.m., Merrimack County 4-H teens will hold an ice-cream social for military families at the Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton.
  • June 26-29, UNH Cooperative Extension’s 4-H youth development program holds its annual Teen Conference at UNH. Military kids should check out the special opportunities for military teens at nhomk.com.

Military families have an opportunity to win elite Flight Line Club tickets to the Boston-Portsmouth Air Show, August 13 and 14 at Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth, courtesy of Stamping Technologies of Laconia.  All families have to do to be eligible to win is to attend an OMK event and register for the drawing to be held on June 30.

OMK hopes every member of the New Hampshire community will participate in this month of appreciation. The UNH Cooperative Extension  4-H Youth Development program partners with all branches of the military, American Legion, Red Cross, schools, Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team, the spiritual community, community recreation centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other youth and family organizations to form the outreach effort called Operation: Military Kids (OMK). This program functions in 49 states across the country, including New Hampshire.

For details and registration information on the above events, check out nhomk.com.

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