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Month of the Military Child

45th Space Wing

45th Space Wing

PATRICK AFB, Fla. --      It is hard enough to be a kid. Being a military child is even harder. Both my wife, Lisa, and I are "military brats" and understand the many challenges they face; moving, being one of them.
     And that means they have to start all over again while trying to keep in touch with the old and balance the fact that one, or even both parents could be absent while completing their military duty.
     To recognize all they accomplish in spite of these challenges, we celebrate the Month of the Military Child in April. It's an opportunity to celebrate their heroism, character, courage, sacrifices and continued resilience.
     President Obama provided some sage words regarding our military children, "The strength and the readiness of America's military depend on the strength and readiness of our military families. This is a matter of national security. It's not just the right thing to do. It also makes this country strong."
     One child, besides your own, of course, who shows this strength is the Air Force's Military Child of the Year, Nicole Goetz, 17. She is stationed with her parents at Tyndall AFB, Fla.
     "Being a military child gives me the opportunity to see and meet a lot of people," Nicole said. "My advice for others who have a deployed parent or parents, is to get involved. If you keep busy, it keeps your mind off of how much you miss them and it benefits your community as well."
     The Air Force provides the opportunity to serve the community and see the world. It's more than that, though. It's really a family...a big family. That means no matter where you go, you are home. It means that even if you are far away from your loved ones, they are being cared for by our Air Force family. It means if you are having a problem, we are helping you fix it.
Our Air Force family has programs of all kinds to help you and your military children succeed through all the challenges, from Youth Center activities to Airmen and Family Readiness Center programs. We urge you to take advantage of them.
     As the nation pauses to mark the 25th Annual Month of the Military Child we urge you to look to your own children, and express to them that you understand that they are extraordinary. Let them know you love them.
     As always, thanks for all you do. And thank the kids while you are at it!