April Marks the Month of the Military Child at the 97 AMW Published April 4, 2019 By Senior Airman Cody Dowell 97 AMW/PA 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.