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Children of military families face obstacles that most typical children of civilian families do not have to deal with. From having to move very often to dealing with a parent being deployed, the military family lifestyle can be very challenging. These kids can learn some very important lessons along the way, but they also need the support of their families and communities around them. 

Purple Up! For Military Kids Day is a super opportunity to give special honor and attention to these unique children.

History of Purple Up! For Military Kids Day

Purple Up! For Military Kids Day was started in 2011 by the New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Military Youth and Family Program as an education activity for the children of people who serve in the military. Later it was adopted by the entire Department of Defense.

The idea behind the day is for everyone to take part by showing support and appreciation for military kids through wearing purple. The color purple is meant to acknowledge the strength military children have and the sacrifices they make because of the lifestyle of their military parent.

In the military, the color purple can have some different meanings but, in this case, it is likely related to the connection with all branches of military and inclusive of civilians as well. The idea is that all of the service colors are represented, including Army green, Navy blue, Marine red and Coast Guard blue – combined together to make purple.

This day is part of a larger campaign to acknowledge these kids during the month of April, known as the Month of the Military Child. This event was established as a Defense-wide commemoration in 1986 and has grown to include Purple Up! For Military Kids Day as well as various other events. 

How to Celebrate Purple Up! For Military Kids Day

Make a difference in the experience of military families and show support by participating in Purple Up! For Military Kids Day. Consider some of these ideas to get started with celebrating:

Purple Up!

This is the day to get dressed in purple in honor of all families with military kids. Wearing purple might simply mean donning a purple t-shirt or purple ribbon on a jacket. Or it could certainly mean going all out and wearing purple head-to-toe. Kids, teachers, parents, grandparents and anyone who wants to show support for military kids can enjoy this day simply by wearing purple and using it as an opportunity to talk about how great military kids are!

Host an Assembly for Military Kids

Schools, youth clubs and other community groups can get involved with Purple Up! For Military Kids Day by creating opportunities for gathering and publicly acknowledging the children of military families in their community. This might mean hosting an assembly at school where military children are honored and their parents are also invited to participate. Or it could mean asking the whole school to get involved by wearing purple on this important day.

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