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Governor signs proclamation supporting Michigan's military children

Friday, April 8, 2011

Contact: Sara Wurfel
Office: 517-335-6397

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed April as the Month of the Military Child to highlight the challenges faced by more than 19,000 Michigan children whose parents serve in the armed forces.

Joining Snyder at the proclamation signing were Barbara Levin, co-chair of the Michigan Military Child Education Coalition; B'Onko Sadler, Michigan State University Cooperative Extension state 4-H military liaison; members of the Michigan National Guard and advocates from the public and private sectors. The theme of this year's observance is "Celebrate Military Children, the Strength of Our Future."

"Children in military families shoulder sacrifices on a daily basis," Snyder said. "Many have seen their parents leave for deployment more than once. I am honored to sign this proclamation as a tribute to their spirit and as a reminder that one of the most fitting ways in which we can support our service members and veterans is to ensure that their children's needs are met."

The Michigan Military Child Education Coalition, co-chaired by Levin, is an organization of public and private representatives including leaders from the business, health care and faith-based communities that supports military children throughout Michigan.

"We aim to raise community awareness of the unique needs of Michigan's military children and their families and create a sense of shared responsibility for them," said Levin.

To honor children from all military service branches, state youth coordinators and Operation: Military Kids have organized age-appropriate activities for young children and teens. Operation: Military Kids is a national effort sponsored by Army Child, Youth and School Services in collaboration with National 4-H headquarters, Military Child Education Coalition, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, American Legion, National Association of Child Care Resource and referral agencies and other state and local organizations to help military children meet others like themselves.

"Military children look the same to teachers, friends and the community after a parent deploys, but their lives have changed dramatically," Sadler said. "We want to help them connect with other youth in similar situations and to use the Operation: Military Kids initiative as a way to link up with other youth in the community."