April is designated the Month of the Military Child, a time for recognizing and paying tribute to the youngest soldiers fighting the war at home. Though the sacrifices of military members and their families are always worth valorizing, this month is set aside for focusing specifically on the experiences of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas.

Whether living the life of a "military brat" and bouncing from town to town or country to country, or having to live without a deployed parent for months at a time, military children have unique and often trying experiences that their civilian counterparts likely could never relate to.

Month of the Military Child 2019 is sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy and supported by many other organizations, including the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Celebrate Purple Up! For Military Kids Day

Each April, DoDEA communities around the world celebrate the Month of the Military Child with Purple Up! For Military Kids Day, in which participants wear purple to show their support and appreciation of military children. The symbolism of that color is meant to convey that all branches of the military are supported, as it combines Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red and Coast Guard blue into a purple shade.

According to the agency's website, this year's Purple Up! celebrations will take place from April 8 through 12 at DoDEA Americas schools, and on April 17 at DoDEA Europe and Pacific schools.

"The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.""The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement."

You can celebrate Purple Up! in your own community by, of course, wearing purple, but also by encouraging others to participate, as well. Ask schools and teachers to recognize the event, and see if you can get local businesses and officials to wear purple, as well.

Other Month of the Military Child 2019 events in April

Like many similar celebrations that focus on military recognition, the Month Of The Military Child tends to be observed within military communities, often with parades, fairs, seminars and special events. There are, however, some communities, schools and organizations outside of military bases that participate as well.

Some military-related private organizations use April as an opportunity to tout some of their year-round programs. The Military Child Education Coalition, for example, will emphasize its stated goal of ensuring "inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, transition, deployments and family separation."

The group offers student-led "Student 2 Student" programs, as well as a "Parent To Parent" version year-round, and during the month of April, provides Month Of The Military Child downloadable toolkits and other resources.

Throughout the month, there are also the usual military base-level events, ceremonies, contests and special nights celebrating military families and their children. Because so many of these events are sponsored by military communities, those looking for ways to get involved in the celebrations should search for events with the base Public Affairs office, Military Family Readiness Centers, Department of Defense Dependent School admin offices and on-base Child Development Centers. The Military Times also recommends checking for activities listed at Morale Welfare and Recreation Centers in military installations both at home and abroad.

Whether you simply "purple up" your wardrobe, participate in a celebratory event or do something special for the military child in your life, this month is the perfect time to show the son or daughter of a U.S. Armed Forces member how much you appreciate them.