FORT BLISS, Texas – Milam Elementary School is among schools across the Army, country, and the world honoring children of military parents during the month of April. The Month of the Military Child has been set aside each April to appreciate the young lives affected by service members of the United States.
Children from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade stand with Irma Ludwig, principal of Milam Elementary School in front of a wall of red, white and blue cutouts honoring the military child on April 15, 2013. April commemorates Month of the Military Child in appreciation of the unique stressors that children of military parents face in their families and schools. Parents, teachers and staff are encouraged to stop and leave a message of appreciation for the military children on the paper cutouts in the schools foyer. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Barry St. Clair)
The military family liaison at Milam, Wendy Head, a military spouse and mother of two, cut out around students on red, white and blue paper, and taped them along the wall in the foyer at Milam for parents, staff and teachers to write notes of encouragement and appreciation to the pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students who attend here.
“The strength of our nation is our Army; the strength of our Army is our soldiers; the strength of our soldiers is our families,” www.army.mil/families.
“We are here today to celebrate the military children,” said Laura De Leon confidently.
“We are celebrating how they have to be strong, and go through hard times when their parents are deployed. Mom tries to comfort us when dad is gone, but I can tell she is kind of sad inside, “ said De Leon about her mother and coping with family member deployments.
Head organized the red, white and blue paper cutouts of students and put them along the wall in the school foyer. Parents, teachers and staff were informed they could leave notes of appreciation and encouragement for their student or others, thanking the kids for all they go through as family members of military personnel.
The De Leon family celebrated Christmas together before her father was deployed since he would be gone in December.
“Thank you military children for what you do,” said De Leon with a big smile.
Almost all of the children at Milam are from military families, and are familiar with family separation during deployment of one, or sometimes both parents, according to Head.
“I had a lot of fun honoring the military child. I was traced on paper, so one of the cutouts on the wall is mine. My father serves in the military,” said D'shonna Robinson, a student at Milam.
Head walked along the wall pointing out some of the notes left by parents and teachers.
Some of the notes read: “The Military child lives a life like no one else. They are strong, resilient, and full of pride; honest, respectful and true, making parents and teachers proud.”
Someone left only three words on a paper teddy bear: “Courageous, resilient, energetic.”
This, from a parent to her twins: “I am a proud mother of Erica and Emily Thap. What I adore and cherish about them is each time I look into their big brown eyes, they constantly remind me of what life is worth, and how to cherish it all. They keep me going when my husband is gone, and always give me their love and support. I adore the age they are at, and wish I could be honored with this age forever. But I am loving my time with them, and watching them blossom into the beautiful ladies they will become.”
“It makes me feel upset when my dad is gone,” said Mia Cunningham sadly.
Cunningham is a student at Milam whose father has been deployed just five weeks ago.
By U.S. Army Sgt. Barry St. Clair
Provided through DVIDS
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