FORT BLISS, Texas – Milam Elementary School is among schools
across the Army, country, and the world honoring children of
military parents during the month of April. The Month of the
Military Child has been set aside each April to appreciate the young
lives affected by service members of the United States.
Children from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade stand with Irma
Ludwig, principal of Milam Elementary School in front of a wall of
red, white and blue cutouts honoring the military child on April 15,
2013. April commemorates Month of the Military Child in appreciation
of the unique stressors that children of military parents face in
their families and schools. Parents, teachers and staff are
encouraged to stop and leave a message of appreciation for the
military children on the paper cutouts in the schools foyer. (U.S.
Army photo by Sgt. Barry St. Clair)
The military family liaison at Milam, Wendy Head, a
military spouse and mother of two, cut out around students
on red, white and blue paper, and taped them along the wall
in the foyer at Milam for parents, staff and teachers to
write notes of encouragement and appreciation to the
pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students who attend
“The strength of our nation is our Army; the
strength of our Army is our soldiers; the strength of our
soldiers is our families,” www.army.mil/families.
“We are here today to celebrate the military
children,” said Laura De Leon confidently.
celebrating how they have to be strong, and go through hard
times when their parents are deployed. Mom tries to comfort
us when dad is gone, but I can tell she is kind of sad
inside, “ said De Leon about her mother and coping with
family member deployments.
Head organized the red,
white and blue paper cutouts of students and put them along
the wall in the school foyer. Parents, teachers and staff
were informed they could leave notes of appreciation and
encouragement for their student or others, thanking the kids
for all they go through as family members of military
The De Leon family celebrated Christmas
together before her father was deployed since he would be
gone in December.
“Thank you military children for
what you do,” said De Leon with a big smile.
all of the children at Milam are from military families, and
are familiar with family separation during deployment of
one, or sometimes both parents, according to Head.
had a lot of fun honoring the military child. I was traced
on paper, so one of the cutouts on the wall is mine. My
father serves in the military,” said D'shonna Robinson, a
student at Milam.
Head walked along the wall
pointing out some of the notes left by parents and teachers.
Some of the notes read: “The Military child lives a life
like no one else. They are strong, resilient, and full of
pride; honest, respectful and true, making parents and
Someone left only three words on a
paper teddy bear: “Courageous, resilient, energetic.”
This, from a parent to her twins: “I am a proud mother
of Erica and Emily Thap. What I adore and cherish about them
is each time I look into their big brown eyes, they
constantly remind me of what life is worth, and how to
cherish it all. They keep me going when my husband is gone,
and always give me their love and support. I adore the age
they are at, and wish I could be honored with this age
forever. But I am loving my time with them, and watching
them blossom into the beautiful ladies they will become.”
“It makes me feel upset when my dad is gone,” said Mia
Cunningham is a
student at Milam whose father has been deployed just five
By U.S. Army Sgt. Barry St. Clair
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