Whiteman celebrates MOMC

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
While military children are recognized yearlong, the month of April has officially been designated Month of the Military Child to celebrate them.

In an effort to applaud them, Whiteman Youth Programs has multiple activities to recognize their contribution and achievements.

"From 'Everyday Heroes' certificates that line the walls at the Youth Center this month, to the monthly and quarterly awards, to the Youth of the Year recognition at the Pentagon, Whiteman Youth Programs looks for ways to recognize each child for their unique contribution," said Gerald Torres, 509th Force Support Squadron chief of youth programs. "As parents and community members we can support these young heroes by sharing a smile and encouragement."

During MOMC, many Whiteman AFB facilities will offer events and programs to highlight the unique lifestyle of our children, according to Torres.

"Through the Integrated Delivery System, the Chapel, Child Development Center, Youth Center, Family Advocacy and other base agencies worked together to create the Block Party to celebrate our children, April 12, 2012," Torres said.

"Each facility helps honor MOMC throughout April," Torres said. "The YC will offer special events, discounts and games to help children 'just have fun!'

"It is important to take time to celebrate the strengths and efforts of military children and families," Torres said. "Whiteman takes this special opportunity to thank them for the sacrifices they make in support of the mission."

Taking the time to honor the special contributions of our children and youth meets many important goals, according to Torres.

"MOMC celebrates the courage the children show in daily life," Torres said. "It accentuates the role they have in supporting military parents who in turn make the American way possible. It provides a focused opportunity to reward their efforts with fun and exciting activities. Together these work to provide that resiliency required for military families to thrive."

Because military children are prone to moving to new duty stations, they may struggle with challenges that other children do not face.

One way Zachary, son of Angela and Staff Sgt. Ronal Reed, 509th Security Forces Squadron unit training manager, gets involved with other children is through youth programs. He said he meets new friends who also know what it's like being a military child.

"The ultimate challenge for military children is learning to adapt," Torres said. "The challenges change from one situation to the next, even within the same family. Whether it is moving schools, moving away from friends, changing homes, adjusting family roles or finding recreation, these children are constantly tested on their ability to adapt and to change their 'norm'...to flex their reality."

One of the biggest needs for these children is the personal and community support others receive by having the same friends and neighbors for their entire childhood, according to Torres.

"Be a friend; be a true neighbor; be a fan," Torres exclaimed. "This will truly celebrate the beauty of their place in America."