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Schriever celebrates Month of the Military Child

Parents cheer as Child Development Center children walk during the annual Pinwheel Parade in recognition of Month of the Military child at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, April 1, 2016. Month of the Military child is part of the legacy left behind by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger who established it in 1986. According to the Department of Defense, as of 2018 there are approximately 1.7 million total-force military children worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

Parents cheer as Child Development Center children walk during the annual Pinwheel Parade in recognition of Month of the Military child at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, April 1, 2016. Month of the Military child is part of the legacy left behind by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger who established it in 1986. According to the Department of Defense, as of 2018 there are approximately 1.7 million total-force military children worldwide. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

Cecilia Smith, unit sexual assault victim advocate, hands toys and smoothies to kids at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, April 14, 2017. The Child Development Center has events planned this month coordinated in partnership with the Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator office and Airman and Family Readiness for children on the installation in recognition of Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)

Cecilia Smith, unit sexual assault victim advocate, hands toys and smoothies to kids at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, April 14, 2017. The Child Development Center has events planned this month coordinated in partnership with the Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator office and Airman and Family Readiness for children on the installation in recognition of Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child, with 2019 being the 33rd year of bringing awareness to the crucial role military children play in the armed forces culture and community.

Lauren Clark, 50th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center director, said when it comes to military family dynamics, the military child’s role in the sacrifice these families make every day is often overlooked.

“Military children deal with parents working long hours, are up early often in order for parents to make it to work and have to say good-bye to their parents for extended periods of time,” she said. “These are all sacrifices they make as little humans that don’t always understand the why in those sacrifices.”

Month of the Military child is part of the legacy left behind by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who established it in 1986. According to the Department of Defense, as of 2018 there are approximately 1.7 million total-force military children worldwide.

“The recognition these children receive is a purposeful intent to make time to honor the children,” Clark said. “Our world has so many things going on and it brings to light something often overlooked. It makes people take notice of the children being right there in the fight with us.”

Military children often have to say goodbye to friends, neighbors and family members when they move to a different duty station. Christine Yarnes, 50th FSS CDC lead program technician, said as care providers for the children, they see how military life affects them.

“We get to see all of their little personalities and how they behave when, for instance, a parent gets deployed,” she said. “They go through a lot.”

Clark said even though there are many hardships for the military child, the military life presents several opportunities for children as well.

“The military has taken care of us and been a stable support for our family,” she said. “My family did a few tours overseas. My daughter was born in Germany, she has more air miles than most adults, has been to upwards of 10 different countries and she’s only four years old.”

The CDC at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado has events this month almost every day, coordinated in partnership with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office and the Airman and Family Readiness for children on the installation.

“This week specifically we have a program called My child, my hero,” Clark said. “It highlights what children mean to their parents and why the children are their heroes from the parent’s perspective.”

Other will include a science, technology, engineering and math week, geared towards the school-age program children and a spirit week with a theme for each day of the week for both.

One thing Clark wants Team Schriever to remember is the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.”

“I think one of the most rewarding things about working at the CDC is we get to be a part of your village, she said. “Because military families are not always with their own family, we get to be each other’s support system. We are honored we get to be a part of your village.”

Stay tuned to Schriever Sentinel for more Month of the Military Child event coverage.

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