April is Month if the Military Child

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- For nearly 10 years, April has been designated as Month of the Military Child. Many branches of the armed services are taking the opportunity to focus on and honor military.

"Military children sacrifice on a daily basis, in support of the mission," said Meladee Bay, 509th Force Support Squadron the chief of Airman and Family Services Flight.

Whiteman recognizes that military children are very unique because they face continuous transition.

"Military dependents must adjust to new schools, new groups of friends and new neighborhoods," Mrs. Bay said. "They have to leave treasured friendships and move on to make new ones."

In addition to adjusting to a new zip code, military children must cope with to the absence of a parent during deployments.

"Often times, military children step-up to new responsibilities within the family because of that," she said. "They demonstrate great resilience in meeting all these challenges."

Military children also play a role in the military mission.

"They bring hope for the future and the reason why military are serving to uphold the freedoms of our country," Mrs. Bay said.

As part of the celebration, Whiteman has many events planned throughout April, such as the annual MOMC block party and Operation Spirit.

In addition to the MOMC celebration, Whiteman recognize the importance of children all year round. The A&FRC supports programs such as Stay Connected.

"The purpose of the Stay Connected is to provide children with kits, which are made up of items designed to keep military members and their dependents connected during their deployment," Mrs. Bay said. "The kits are nicely packed into a travel cooler and contain items such as puppets, journals, disposable cameras, mouse pad, stationary, and books."

Military children are "our" unsung heroes according to Mrs. Bay.

"They are required to continually adjust to the mission ops tempo in a secondary role which has a huge impact on them on daily basis," Mrs. Bay said. "The tempo is hard enough to deal with as an adult, much less as a child. It is truly amazing how resilient the 'little soldiers' are. We need to recognize them for this and most of all acknowledge their sacrifice and their contribution through love and understanding."

Whiteman has a child and youth behavior military family life consultant available at all times to parents needing to discuss any issues and concerns they are having with their children. Those interested can contact (660) 687-5588/5586.

For more information about MOMC events log on to www.whitemanservices.com or pick up a Connections magazine where available. Parents can also seek resources available through the A&FRC and www.militaryonesource.com