2014-04-10 / Community

Purple up! for military families

by Kendra Moyses Michigan State University Extension

LANSING – April is the Month of the Military Child, an annual awareness campaign that recognizes the sacrifices made by military families and their children. To show your support of children whose parents are serving in the military, Michigan State University Extension 4-H Military Partnerships is asking residents throughout Michigan to PURPLE UP! on April 15, by wearing purple in support of our military families.

The color purple is chosen as the signature color as it symbolizes all branches of the military: it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue. Michigan 4-H Military Partnerships hopes everyone will take this opportunity to appreciate and celebrate all of our state’s young heroes who sacrifice as their parents serve.

Every member of a military family makes daily sacrifices as a result of their military service to our country. However, these sacrifices may go unnoticed as many times communities are not aware that military families are present in the community. Though they look the same as everyone else, their lives can change dramatically as service members are deployed, return home or circumstances change due to military service. Michigan 4-H Military Partnership events provide these military youth with an opportunity to connect with other young people in similar situations, as well as to other youth in the community. In addition to those held during Month of the Military Child, activities for military kids are ongoing throughout the year and across Michigan.

In partnership with many other states across the United States, Michigan 4-H Military Partnerships is participating in the fourth annual PURPLE UP! for Military Kids event. Michigan residents are invited to join them in wearing purple on April 15, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their sacrifices and strength.

Looking for ways to spread the word about PURPLE UP? Be creative, the goal is for military families to actually see the support of their local community. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Turn your social media pages purple or use the PURPLE UP! logo as your profile picture to show your support for military families.

Ask local, regional and state officials to join you in wearing purple on April 15.

Invite newspaper and media outlets to feature a story about PURPLE UP! for Military Kids.

Involve your local schools, sports teams, youth organizations, afterschool programs, and recreation departments.

Engage community organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, fraternal organizations, social clubs and Rotary groups.

Ask businesses in the areas to show their support by posting a PURPLE UP! message on their roadside signs and asking employees to wear purple.

Encourage your family, friends, coworkers, members of your spiritual community, exercise class or sports leagues to PURPLE UP!

Find other ways to support military families in your community by contacting your local Veterans groups or support organizations such as Operation HomeFront and the Joining Forces initiative to see how you can help.

No matter how else you celebrate Month of the Military Child, be sure to encourage everyone in your community to wear purple. Help to share the support with military families across the state by taking photos of people participating in PURPLE UP! for Military Kids in your community and sending them to Michigan 4-H Military Partnerships. They will share them on their website and Facebook page so military youth and families everywhere will see them. To find out more about Michigan 4-H Military Partnerships events, please visit MSU Extension Events. For more information about programs and resources available to military families through Michigan 4-H, please visit Michigan 4-H Military Partnerships.

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This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit www.msue.msu.edu. To contact an expert, visit expert.msue.msu.edu, or call (888 )MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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