Frequent moves, family separations through deployments and reintegration following deployments can make school, home and community life challenging for military children. Yet, even in difficult circumstances, these youth continually demonstrate resilience and courage.
Purple Up! For Military Kids is a day to wear purple to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices.
Why purple? Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is a combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.
4-H clubs in New Hampshire developed the Purple Up! for Military Kids initiative in 2011 while working with the children of deployed National Guard and reserve component members, and they saw Purple Up! as a way to build awareness in their communities. Purple Up! is now celebrated around the world by military service branches, the Department of Defense, governors, states, schools, businesses and communities.
Colorado 4-H has been a proud partner of Army, Air Force, National Guard and Reserve youth programs for over 25 years. Thanks to the federal partnership among USDA-NIFA, the Department of Defense and U.S. Land Grant Universities like Colorado State University, youth worldwide belong to 4-H. As military families move frequently and experience the difficulties surrounding deployment and reintegration, 4-H provides predictable programming and a safe and nurturing environment for military-connected children and youth on installations to excel and belong.
Extension and 4-H are helping lead the Purple Up! for Military Kids efforts in Colorado by having county commissioners sign special proclamations, producing purple STEM videos and posting them to the State 4-H website, wearing purple, asking schools to wear purple that day, hosting a Facebook live panel of military parents and kids, social media blasts and more.
You can join in celebrating Purple Up! Day on April 14. Military kids serve too!
By Faith Kroschel. Faith Kroschel is a Colorado State University 4-H Youth Development & Outreach agent with Boulder County Extension in Longmont.