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Cpl. Maria Cognac, a personal administrator with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, spends time with her four-month-old daughter Lea Cognac during the Month of the Military Child picnic at the Child Developement Center at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, April 1. This month recognizes the sacrifices military children make and struggles they go through as their parents serve our country.

Photo by Pfc. Brendan I. Roethel

Month of the Military Child

12 Apr 2013 | Pfc. Brendan Roethel

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. - The Month of the Military Child kicked off with a family picnic and parade at the Child Development Center on Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, April 1-2. 

As military children grow up, they deal with frequent moves, family separation through deployments, and adjustment issues that make life especially challenging for them. 

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize everything these children go through and to honor the sacrifices their families make. 

Unlike service members and their spouses, their children are forced into the lifestyle, said Sarhi Wiggins, the family readiness officer for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122. 

Although they live the military lifestyle willingly it’s still hard because they’re moving around constantly, dealing with deployments, their parent’s long working hours and they don’t understand everything fully. 

“Children of military parents go through a lot as their parents serve. The children are very strong,” said Kayla Witter, a program assistant with the CDC. 

Having to help out as their parent is deployed and dealing with other struggles makes military children mature a lot faster than their civilian counterparts, said Latoya Perryman, a program assistant with the CDC. 

“My daughter is eight years old and my husband has been deployed four times since she has been born. That’s half of her life,” said Wiggins. “She got a little stronger each time. She handled his current deployment a lot better than we expected, but she still can’t wait to see him come home.” 

Support for these children doesn’t only reach those on military bases, said Perryman. Many people bring the message to people off base and to schools in the surrounding area to ensure their struggles are not overlooked. 

Making the community aware of the struggles military children go through is important, especially in schools, said Witter. Teachers and those in the surrounding area might be insensitive to what these children are going through if they don’t know what it’s like growing up in this environment. 

The Month of the Military Child brings awareness toward the struggles military children face everyday and thanks them for their sacrifices to our nation. 

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