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April 3, 2013

Since 1986, Army installations around the world recognize the sacrifices and applaud the courage of military children by celebrating the Month of the Military Child. As Soldiers are transitioning home from over ten years of conflict around the world, many challenges continue for our military families and their children. These children bravely endured the effects of war, and still, in the last three years, approximately two million children have witnessed the deployment of one or both parents.

The Month of the Military Child creates awareness of the service and sacrifices of the military's children. It is an opportunity to thank children for their support to the nation's warfighters and recognize the important role they play in the strength of the nation by contributing to the strength of the Army family.

Installations across the Army will sponsor various fun and educational events to celebrate children's contributions and recognize their sacrifices through teen lock-ins, youth bike rodeos, children book fairs, parades and other community events designed to highlight the resiliency of military children.

This year's theme, "Proud, Ready and Resilient," highlights military children's unique lifestyle and their ability to succeed despite frequent relocations, reintegration, deployments, loss and/or care for a wounded parent. Army leaders will take part in events recognizing the unique challenges that military children face and reinforce the Army's commitment to maintain the quality of life for both Soldiers and their families.

The Army recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices our children make daily, and is committed to maintaining excellence in schools, youth services and child care to support our children and their families. The Army is delivering on these promises by providing programs with an increased emphasis on school support and school transition services and standardizing and funding programs worldwide that support the military child.

The men and women in uniform cannot focus on the missions or challenges ahead, if they are concerned about their children at home. Providing a safe, nurturing environment for military children creates a stronger more resilient fighting force. The Month of the Military Child reinforces this concept, reminds the nation that the service members' children also serve, and gives communities an opportunity to share their gratitude for the service of military children who are Proud, Ready and Resilient.