April Is Month of the Military Child: Purple Up!

military child with fatherAMES, Iowa – On April 15 all Iowans are encouraged to wear purple to show their appreciation for military children and their families.

Last week Iowa Governor Terry Branstad proclaimed April as Month of the Military Child and April 15 as “Purple Up” day. Purple symbolizes all branches of the military, because it is the combination of Army green; Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.

In the proclamation Branstad urged Iowans “to observe this special day by wearing purple, and throughout the month to connect with military kids, military families and to provide support to all our Iowa children affected by the service and sacrifice of family members and other caring adults in their lives.” More than 10,000 Iowa children have a loved one serving in the military, according to the proclamation.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has resources for military families available anytime, noted family life program specialists Kim Brantner and Joy Rouse.

“Children in military families experience big changes in their lives. A parent can be out of reach for long periods of time, and when he or she returns, both parent and child must readjust. A parent may come home with an injury that may or may not be visible. The parent may look or act differently than the child remembers,” Brantner said.

“Military families may have to move often, leaving familiar places for a new home. Children of single parents may have to adjust to a new primary caregiver who lives in a different area,” added Rouse.

ISU Extension and Outreach has resources for military families online at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/content/military-families. Extension and Outreach also is making available a series of 11 publications with ideas individuals and organizations can use to support families in their communities. For more information, contact Kim Brantner, brantner@iastate.edu, or Joy Rouse, jmrouse@iastate.edu.