4-H honors military kids for Month of the Military Child

State College, Pa. -- "Salute to the Military Child" is the latest event in ongoing programming to support children of deployed military parents. This event is open to military families and will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on April 19 at American Legion Post 245 in State College. 

April is the Month of the Military Child, a time to recognize the sacrifices made by children in military families. Boys and girls whose parents have been deployed live with uncertainty and concern for their parents on a daily basis. Many families learn to be flexible, but long deployments can be difficult for military children.

Operation: Military Kids (O.M.K.) is a national effort to support children of deployed soldiers from all branches of the military including Guard and Reserve.  The program is sponsored by Army Child, Youth and School Services in collaboration with National 4-H Headquarters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, American Legion, Military Child Education Coalition, National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and other state and local organizations to help military children meet others like themselves.

In the six years since the war began in Iraq, many children have seen their parents leave more than once.
 
"Military children look the same to teachers, friends and the community after a parent deploys, but their lives have changed dramatically," said Christy Bartley, Penn State Cooperative Extension state 4-H military liaison. "We want to help them connect with other youth in similar situations and to use the Operation: Military Kids initiative as a way to link up with other youth in the community."
 
Activities for military kids sponsored by O.M.K. are ongoing throughout the year across Pennsylvania.

Highlights of "Salute to the Military Child" include a demonstration by the Air Force ROTC Trick Rifle Drill Team, a visit from State College Spikes mascot "Ike the Spike," and an opportunity to climb inside an Apache helicopter. In addition, students from Penn State's Recreation & Parks Department are organizing activities and games for the children.

For more information, or to register, please contact Operation: Military Kids Pennsylvania's Central Office at (814) 865-2264, or visit http://www.operationmilitarykids.org.

Contacts: 
Last Updated April 09, 2009