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April Marks the Month of the Military Child at the 97 AMW

Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing youth center watch the front of the Month of the Military Child parade, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. After the parade passed by, the members joined in to walk with the rest of the agencies supporting the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing youth center watch the front of the Month of the Military Child parade, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. After the parade passed by, the members joined in to walk with the rest of the agencies supporting the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing visit booths set up by units across the 97th Air Mobility Wing, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. After the Month of the Military Child parade, participants gathered at the youth center to see the agencies hosting events for military children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing visit booths set up by units across the installation, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. After the Month of the Military Child parade, participants gathered at the youth center to see the agencies hosting events for military children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Members of the Month of the Military Child parade walk across the base, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Members across the base walked from Wings of Freedom Park to the youth center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Members of the Month of the Military Child parade walk across the base, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Members across the base walked from Wings of Freedom Park to the youth center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Members of the Altus High School “That Altus Band” march on the road, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The band helped celebrate the start of the Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Members of the Altus High School “That Altus Band” march on the road, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The band helped celebrate the start of the Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

David Fortuna, 97th Maintenance Squadron quality assurance and product improvement specialist, reads part of the 2019 Month of the Military Child Proclamation, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing took turns reading the proclamation, highlighting the fact that it’s an entire base effort to care about children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

David Fortuna, 97th Maintenance Squadron quality assurance and product improvement specialist, reads part of the 2019 Month of the Military Child Proclamation, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing took turns reading the proclamation, highlighting the fact that it’s an entire base effort to care about children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Trent Falon, 97th Force Support Squadron Chief of Child and Youth Services flight, gives a welcome speech for the Month of the Military Child parade, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Children across the 97th Air Mobility Wing gathered to celebrate Month of the Military Child and spread awareness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

Trent Falon, 97th Force Support Squadron Chief of Child and Youth Services flight, gives a welcome speech for the Month of the Military Child parade, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Children across the 97th Air Mobility Wing gathered to celebrate Month of the Military Child and spread awareness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

A family poses with Sparky the Fire Dog, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing wore purple to recognize the start of the Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

A family poses with Sparky the Fire Dog, April 1, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing wore purple to recognize the start of the Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Dowell)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

The 97th Air Mobility Wing kicked off the Month of the Military Child with a parade featuring members of the fire department, security forces and military children with their families, April 1, 2019. April is the Month of the Military Child - a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide, with an emphasis on the experience of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas.

Altus AFB started the month-long celebration with the parade to spread awareness about the significance of the month dedicated to military kids. Various organizations including the Altus High School “That Altus Band” and 97 AMW fire trucks, law enforcement vehicles and military working dogs made their way across the base for the celebration. At the end, everyone gathered at the Altus Youth Center for an information fair, highlighting activities and services available to military families. The event allowed base personnel to come together and talk about the role of the military child.

“It is essential to recognize that military children do make a significant contribution to our nation through understanding and supporting their military parents, who often work long hours and make numerous deployments when called upon,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tanina Sirmons, 97th Force Support Squadron sustainment services superintendent.

Many activities are scheduled throughout April to focus on this, including April 18th which is “Purple Up! For Military Kids” day. This is when members of the military community wear purple to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Purple indicates all branches of the military are supported: Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue. These colors are thought to combine together as a single color, purple.

The heritage of wearing purple started in 1986 when Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger started the initiative. Since then, there has been an increasing number of awareness campaigns aimed at recognizing the needs of military children in all areas, from coping with the deployment of parents to war zones and education of military dependents at on-base Department of Defense Dependent School System (DoDDS) campuses around the globe.

Several organizations around the installation are hosting events, including the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, 97th Force Support Squadron, Altus Outdoor Recreation and the Altus Youth Center. For more information contact any of the units above to participate in events for the Month of the Military Child.

ALTUS AFB FLICKR ALBUMS

Click on the link below to see all the photos from Altus AFB's official ceremonies.

Altus AFB Flickr Albums