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March 28, 2013
By Kimberly Wheeler, Fort Jackson Leader

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- For nearly 30 years, the military has honored the youngest members of its community by marking April as the Month of the Military Child, or MoMC. This year's theme, "Proud, Ready and Resilient" highlights the ability of military children to adapt to the challenges of the military lifestyle. Organizations around Fort Jackson will join in the celebration by hosting a variety of events scheduled throughout April.

"It is important to recognize our military children and their contributions," said Rose Edmond, Fort Jackson Child and Youth School Services coordinator. "They have some unique challenges that other children don't have, and we want to celebrate them meeting those challenges and continuing to support their parents in uniform."

Edmond said CYSS will host several events to recognize Fort Jackson children and give them a chance to come out and have fun with their families:

- April 1 -- Pitch & Hit Run at the Youth Sports Complex for ages 7 to 14. Children 7 to 10 will play at 9 a.m. The 11-to-14 age group will play at 10 a.m.

- April 13 -- Youth and the Law Education and Prevention Seminar, 4 to 6 p.m. at the CYSS Youth Center on Chesnut Road. Fort Jackson Family Advocacy and CYSS will partner to host this event, which will feature information sessions addressing issues facing teenagers. Topics will include underage drinking, peer pressure and gang violence. To register, call 751-6387.

- April 14 -- "April Foolish Dog Show" from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Youth Sports Complex. Edmond said the event is open to both "animate and inanimate" dogs, and ribbons will be awarded for fun categories, such as "Longest Tail" and "Best Vocal Performance."

- April 19 -- "Health Rocks," 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the School Age Center on Imboden Street for children in Kindergarten through fifth grade, which will feature a healthy meal and a variety of health and fitness activities. This event is open only to children registered with Fort Jackson CYSS.

- April 20 -- Family Fun Fair, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Patriot's Park. Edmond said the fair will feature rides, games, a bounce house, activities and concessions.

Another event planned for MoMC will give post children a chance to learn more about what it takes to be a Soldier in today's Army. Fort Jackson's Basic Combat Training Museum will host more than 500 students from Pierce Terrace and C.C. Pinckney Elementary Schools throughout the day on April 16 for its second annual Military Child Appreciation Day.

Soldiers from around post will teach the students about topics like the Pledge of Allegiance, and how to fold a flag. Children will also have a chance to climb inside military tactical vehicles.

"Our goal is for the kids to learn and understand a little bit more about the Army and to teach them some basics," said Henry Howe, museum director. "Military children sacrifice as much as their moms and dads ... It's important to show these kids that they are part of the team -- they are part of what makes our Soldiers strong, and we appreciate their support."

The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will join in the celebration by offering a variety of discounts and specials for military children throughout the month of April:

- Every Sunday in April, military children will receive half-price admission to the Palmetto Greens Miniature Golf Course.

- Every Tuesday in April, military children up to age 11 can enjoy a $2 pasta buffet from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Officers' Club.

- April 7 and 21, military children up to age 11 will receive a free brunch with a paying adult from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Officers' Club.

- All month, parents can dine with their children at the Officers' Club Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Children's chicken finger basket with fries and grilled cheese sandwich basket will be $1.50.