Lexington Park, MD – For many years, military children, or brats as they call themselves, have learned to become resilient and adaptable because of their parent’s constant deployments, time away from home for training and moving to a new duty station every couple of years often in the middle of a school year.

Today, there are approximately 2 million military children of both active duty and reserve military parents ranging in age from newborn to 18 years old. Approximately 1.3 million are school age.

To recognize them, the Department of Defense (DoD) declared April as Month of the Military Child in 1986.

To honor military children for their sacrifices and service, DoD and the services have planned activities this month that range from installation-based fairs, parades, and literacy and art events.

The Patuxent River Navy Exchange (NEX) held a brief event Saturday morning, April 25, to express their thanks to communities and organizations that provide care and support to military children and their families.

NEX Hardlines Divisional Manager Victor Zarate kicked off the event with a few comments about military children.

This included games, popcorn, cake from the United Service Organizations (USO) and the Navy District Washington (NDW), fire and police departments providing educational material such as fire prevention and child safety, finger printing and McGruff.

The event began with Jacob Kelly, 8, a second-grade student at Benjamin Banneker Elementary School reciting the Pledge of Allegiance while the Great Mills High School Junior ROTC Honor Guard stood behind him.

Cydney Smith, 15, a 10th grade student at Great Mills High School and member of the Junior ROTC sang the National Anthem.

The Great Mills High School Junior ROTC performed a drill routine outside the NEX.
Among the organizations attending this event were the St. Mary’s County Library, St. Mary’s Composite Civil Air Patrol Squadron, St. Mary’s Parks and Rec, NDW School Liaison Program, Pax River Family and Fleet Support, New Family Network and the Navy Lodge.

Contact Mike Wilson at news@thebaynet.com