APRIL IS A VERY SPECIAL MONTH FOR CHILDREN IN MILITARY FAMILIES
March 20, 2005
A Nebraskan's View by: Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson
I was reading an article the other day about kids whose Moms or Dads are in the service. The author pointed out that when the word "brat" is used to describe someone it is not meant as a compliment, but when it is preceded by another word and becomes "military brat" it becomes a term of endearment.
The writer is correct. Children who grow up in military families hold a very special place in the hearts of most Americans. They didn't volunteer for service. They didn't ask to be where they are. When their parents are called away to dangerous places not only do they miss them but it adds to worries that children should not have. How difficult it must be for kids in military families to adjust when Mom or Dad is transferred to another state or country and the children must leave friends behind and go to another school.
These children are making a sacrifice just like their parents are doing. It is for this reason that the Secretary of Defense has designated every April as "The Month of the Military Child". We on the Senate Armed Services Committee are also preparing a resolution to have Congress make the same declaration to recognize and honor the contributions that children in military families make to our country.
Military bases around the world, including Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, set up special activities that include parades and games just for kids. These are times when adults, military and civilian alike, honor the sacrifices of military children.
Making a sacrifice is never easy but it is important for these kids to understand that their experiences connect them with other generations of military children who also made sacrifices so their parents could fulfill their duty to serve in our armed forces. America would not have been founded and achieved its status as the greatest country in the world without the military and the brave and generous service of the troops who fought for freedom and the families they left behind. Sacrifice for country is a time honored and respected tradition in America, especially in these difficult times.
I hope these children understand that what they are going through will make them become a stronger and better person. They will gain a special understanding of patriotism and loyalty that only someone in a military family can fully appreciate. That is why so many children in military families follow in the footsteps of their parents. They come to understand that the military is more than just a job. It is a way of life.
Speaking as Nebraska's United States Senator I want to assure every child in a military family that their country is just as proud of them as it is of their parents who volunteered to defend this country and are being called to duty in dangerous areas around the world.
I hope Congress will recognize the sacrifices made by military families by designating April as the Month of the Military Child. For more information on this effort please visit "Kids Serve Too" on the Internet at www.ks2.org.
During the month of April I hope when we take a moment to remember U.S. troops in our thoughts and prayers that we also think of their children for they are also serving their country.