Air National Guard members celebrate Month of the Military Child

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

Each year the U.S. Department of Defense celebrates April as “Month of the Military Child” recognizing the contributions and sacrifices made by military families.

During the month of April, military communities around the world mark the event with specific activities designed to recognized military children’s contributions.

In Iowa, the National Guard state headquarters designated April 12 as “Purple up Day,” allowing guard members to wear purple while at work to mark the occasion.

According to the Purple Up USA website the mission of purple up day is to “celebrate the military child every day.”

Purple Up day calls attention to military kids, but it also aims to educate military families about the resources available to them as military dependents.

National Guard and Reserve units like Iowa’s 185th Air Refueling Wing are unique because unit members typically live and work in the communities where they serve. It often isn’t until members are deployed that National Guard families learn about the support systems available to them.

Just like their active-duty counterparts national guard units have full time family support staff who are available while unit members are at home or deployed.

Master Sgt. Stephanie Bowen, 185th Military and Family Readiness Program Specialist, says the readiness office is willing to help wherever needed.

“We are here to help service members with all of their personal needs,” said Bowen.

Bowen said some of the things her office can help with include financial counseling, education scholarships, resume writing, finding work as well as help with retirement issues.

For unit members or family members who may not be familiar with their family support office, family support contact information can be found on unit or base websites.

Bowen said the best place to find information about local family events and programs are on the 185th family programs Facebook page.

For people who want to show support for military kids and their families it’s not too late, Purple up Day is celebrated nationally on Monday, April 15.

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