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), part of Cooperative Extension's 4-H youth development program, invites you to "Purple Up! for Military Kids" on April 13 and wear purple as a visible way to show support and to thank military kids for their strength and sacrifices.
On Friday, April 13, supporters will meet at the Wildcat Statue at 1:30 p.m. for photos and to help celebrate these heroes.
"Purple Up" was started by Cooperative Extension in 2011. It has since spread across the country, with 48 states among those "purpling up," according to Charlotte Cross, Cooperative Extension's 4-H youth development specialist and director of the OMK program.
"We are so excited the "Purple Up! for Military Kids" initiative that New Hampshire OMK started last year has taken off," says Cross. "Who knew that one invitation for OMK programs at other land grant universities across the country would result in 48 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories and military installations all over the world partnering to promote similar events to demonstrate support for military kids? It's amazing."
When National Guard, Reserve, and other military families living in civilian communities become mobilized, their children experience the stress of being a military kid. As April 13 approaches, OMK encourages everyone throughout the state to be creative in displaying their purple. The goal is for military youth to actually see the support of their community.
"So many youth in New Hampshire are the proud children, siblings, nephews, and nieces of service members, but their daily lives are affected in ways that others may never see," said Jody Duddy Jackson, educational program coordinator for OMK. 'Purple Up! for Military Kids' is a great way to let them know that we recognize, and appreciate the sacrifices they make."