ANNAPOLIS, Maryland -- Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed a proclamation on March 19, declaring April 2012 as Month of the Military Child, the first such declaration to be made in the state of Maryland.
This proclamation follows on the heels of a similar one by Mayor C. Vincent Gray for the District of Columbia last week. That proclamation was also a first of its kind, joining Maryland and D.C. with other states that officially recognize April as the month to honor military children.
"While several other states have issued proclamations designating April as Month of the Military Child, we were delighted to have Governor O'Malley respond positively to the request for such a proclamation for all military connected children and youth in Maryland," said Carol Mohsberg, School Liaison Officer for Naval Support Activity Annapolis.
Although there are over 40 thousand military children living in Maryland, much focus is spent on their parents' dedication and sacrifices, while children in military families are often overlooked. The so-called "military brats" often make huge sacrifices of their own due to the great demands on their parents.
"While we often recognize the active duty or reserve service member, it is important to remember that 'kids serve, too'; in their schools, their neighborhoods, their communities, etc.", said Mohsberg.
According to Jennifer Dailey-Perkins, Regional School Liaison Officer for Naval District Washington (NDW), April has been utilized as a particular month to honor children from military families since 1986, when Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger requested that members of all the military branches take that time especially to commend military children for stoically enduring the trials they often face.
"Since then each April, military installations around the world honor our young heroes with special activities and events, specifically for them," said Dailey-Perkins. "These festivities let them know that they are valued and supported."
While this time is being spent to recognize military children for their sacrifices, it is also being used to remind service families that there are indeed resources available for them. Each installation in NDW has a School Liaison Office "who is available to offer assistance to military families who have school-aged children with transition and deployment needs."
"Additionally, our entire NDW Child and Youth Program team stand ready to assist our military children and take pause this month to celebrate their achievements," said Dailey-Perkins.
For additional information and resources for military families with children, visit the Military Health System at http://www. health.mil/Themes/Military_Children.aspx