Recognizing military children

Published 11:38 am Monday, April 2, 2018

April marks the beginning of the Month of the Military Child. According to military.com, the goal of the Month of the Military Child is to highlight the integral part military children have in the military community. The focus is on children who are dependent on military service men and women either at home or overseas.

Middlesboro native, In-School Suspension (ISS) instructor at Middlesboro Middle School and the current active Family Readiness Group (FRG) Leader for the local National Guard Armory, Jennifer Lambert, has first-hand knowledge of what being a family with active military members is all about.

Lambert’s husband is the active duty Readiness Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) at the Middlesboro National Guard Unit.

“He enlisted when he was 18 years old in the Kentucky National Guard and in 2008 he got a full-time job at the Middlesboro National Guard Armory as training NCO. Together we have five military children, so the month of April is very important at our house,” she said.

Lambert stated that being a military child is often met with its own kinds of hurdles to overcome.

“Being a military child can often be hard; when the job calls, your military parent must leave home and may not return for a year or maybe even longer. Active duty military service members may have to be relocated and that’s packing up everything you own and now you’re off to another new location. Frequent moves are one of the best and worst parts of military family life. The children get to see parts of the country that some children and adults may never see in their entire lives, but the frequent moves also cause military children to have to make new friends all over again and not knowing how long they will be there until the next move. Military parents miss out on many different things in their children’s lives from being born or walking across stage at graduation day. My husband and I have five military children and we are very thankful that since having children he hasn’t had to go across seas, but we do have to share him many times throughout the year. He has missed many sporting events, birthday parties, and even this year our oldest daughter’s eighth grade prom but it’s all part of being a military child and having our own hero. Most civilian children grow up in the same house their parents grew up in, military children will hardly ever stay in the same house longer than a year, no more than two,” she said.

On April 13, the Family Readiness Group encourages everyone to “purple up” by wearing a purple shirt in recognition of military children. The significance of purple is that it encompasses all branches of the military.