April 29, 2014
By Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster
FORT BENNING, Ga., (April 30, 2014) -- April is Month of the Military Child and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is an opportunity for us all to reflect on what our children mean to us, to recognize the often unacknowledged sacrifices they make, and to appreciate the resilience they demonstrate as military children. It is also an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to prevent and confront all forms of child abuse and neglect.
The theme of this year's Month of the Military Child observance is "Young Lives, Big Stories." Indeed the lives of our military children are filled with big stories, as well as challenges - challenges like changing schools, making new friends, and coping when a parent is deployed. But military children understand the importance of their parents' profession and are proud.
And this month we are reminded to take every opportunity to tell our Army children how proud we are of them. Army children are special because they thrive in the face of circumstances others might find difficult, and they inspire us with their positive attitudes and ability to adapt.
We all recognize our solemn duty to protect our children from abuse. The theme of this year's National Child Abuse Prevention Month observance is "Children's Safety Comes First - Be Ready to End Child Abuse." Remember the four "R's." When we recognize signs of distress in children and families we must take action. We should rethink wellness by emphasizing steps to stay healthy and reach for professional help when we need it. Finally, we all must report suspicions of child abuse and neglect.
With the support of our great Army parents, reinforced by Army communities that encourage nurturing families, our children will thrive and grow into contributing, caring and healthy adults. The Fort Benning Family Advocacy Program has more information about how you can help prevent and end child abuse and they stand ready to help at 706-626-2614.
- Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster