Celebrating Resilience: Honoring Military Children in April

Plus one mom's favorite parenting and kid resources, and books to navigate military life

By Lovedy Carroll, publisher of Macaroni KID Oceanside, Calif. April 12, 2024

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Brennon Potter greets his family at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. in March following a deployment to the U.S. 5th and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operation to strengthen ties with NATO allies and partners.

Did you know there are about 1.6 million children who have a parent or caregiver in the United States Armed Forces? There are so many military kids that they even get a month in their honor. April is the Month of the Military Child.

While the mobile military lifestyle can be challenging, the support of friends and neighbors can be a lifeline for many military kids. I know this firsthand from my own family's experience. We've been a military family for more than 20 years. 

A friend once told me she treats each move as an adventure and plans out areas to explore and places to visit in each new town so that her kids are excited about it. I've tried to keep that same sort of enthusiasm about our frequent moves for my daughter. While military life isn't easy, it really is a grand adventure full of friends, new places to explore, and interesting experiences.

George Pak | Canva

3 ways to support military children in your community

  1. Be a friend: Military kids move, on average, every 2 to 3 years. Being the new kid in school is hard. Encourage your kids to reach out, say hello, and be a friend. Our military kid daughter had moved four times by her ninth birthday, both across the country and internationally.
  2. Wear purple on April 15: The Day of the Military Child is recognized as "Purple Up Day" and celebrated annually on April 15. Purple is the color used to represent military youth because it combines the colors of the United States military's Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force branches. The dandelion is the flower for military children, symbolizing their ability to thrive in any environment.
  3. Recognize their sacrifice: Training, travel, and deployment often result in separation from mom or dad. Simple acts of saying thank you or giving words of encouragement can make a difference to military kids and their caregivers.

Thank you for supporting our military children!

Military OneSource

Some of my favorite parenting resources for military families

Are you a caregiver navigating military life? There are a variety of resources available for military families, including websites and programs specifically designed to support military children through deployments and transitions. Additionally, there are many books that help explain and navigate the emotions related to military life, with resources and readings available online.

Three of my favorite resources I've used include: 

Books to inspire conversations

When my husband has been away, I've often turned to books to help my daughter navigate his absence and open the door to conversation. Here are four of our favorites:

This book is about how two little boys deal with their Dad being deployed. 

This book discusses emotions around Lily’s father's absence. There are two editions of this book. One is specifically for those with U.S. Navy affiliation. 

We love this book because the illustrations are all artwork by military kids!

A sweet story of a Dad and son who toss the North Star back and forth each night even when half a world separates them.

If you're navigating military life, I hope that these resources help!

Lovedy Carroll is the publisher of Macaroni KID Oceanside, Calif. She is a decorated Army veteran and spouse to a USMC veteran.