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April: DoD Recognized 'Month of the Military Child'

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- April was established as the "Month of the Military Child" in 1986 by then Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. He established the annual recognition because he understood and appreciated the challenges encountered by children of our military service members.

Even under normal circumstances, the burden endured by military children is daunting. In the best of times when not deployed, their parents work long hours compounded by unpredictable schedules that don't always mesh with special "once in a lifetime" school or social events. 

Frequent PCS's force the leaving of familiar surroundings and support networks and creates uncertainty and anxiety of what waits on the other end. Deployments bring on long periods of time away from one or both parents further compounding the burden of growing up a military child. 

Through frequent periods of disappointment and uncertainty, military children typically carry lofty expectations of exceptional discipline and emotional stability. Their love of country, sense of shared sacrifice and undying loyalty is truly remarkable considering the burdens they dutifully carry. Testimony to their patriotism is evident in the large numbers of military children who go on to serve in the military themselves.

While we maintain diligent attention to child support services as a matter of course throughout the year, I encourage you to truly honor this annual occasion by letting "our" children know that we appreciate their unique service to our country. 

Be diligent in recognizing and returning the unconditional love they give in spite of all that we require of them. In the Month of the Military Child, make a special effort to let the children of military service members know that we honor their sacrifices in the same light we do that of their parents. 

Our military children are a valued component of Team Eglin and they too play a role in the exceptional contributions provided in the defense of our nation.