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Wear purple on Friday to celebrate military kids

Posted 4/12/2012

Western Area UNCE staff wearing purple

Cooperative Extension program salutes the children with parents in the service

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is inviting everyone across the state to salute the children of Nevada’s military personnel by wearing purple on Friday, April 13.

The first ever "Purple Up! For Military Kids" is being observed across the nation, and various participants in UNCE’s "Operation: Military Kids" will be celebrating the event in different ways throughout the state of Nevada.

Cooperative Extension’s Operation: Military Kids (OMK) was launched in conjunction with 4-H in 2005. It provides support to military children before, during and after deployment of a parent or loved one. Cooperative Extension’s OMK program reaches out to all military groups but has a specific focus on Nevada Army Guard and Reserve families.

More than 100 counselors and professional educators from Washoe, Elko, Humboldt and Clark counties have been formally trained on issues facing youth and their deployed parents.

OMK connects military youth with other youth experiencing deployment, and allows them to participate in a wide range of recreational, social and educational programs. Participants can attend military youth camps; gain skills by participating in the SpeakOut for Military Kids program or Mobile Technology Lab programs; and receive Hero Pack backpacks filled with deployment resources and fun items as a thank you for their sacrifice. OMK also provides Ready, Set, Go! training workshops designed to increase civilian youth workers, educators, counselors and other community members’ understanding of issues facing military youth, military culture and the deployment cycle.

April has been declared the ’Month of the Military Child’ for the 1.8 million children of U.S. service members. This is the 25th anniversary of the ’Month of the Military Child,’ which was initiated in 1986 by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

"These children are a source of pride and honor to us all, and it’s is only fitting that we take time to recognize their contribution," Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said in declaring April Military Child Month in Nevada. "Let our men and women in uniform know that while they’re taking care of us, we are taking care of their children."

For more information about OMK in Washoe County, contact Martana Doser at 775-784-4848 or 775-336-0243. For Clark County, contact Eric Killian at 702-257-5542.

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