From the community

Maine celebrates children of military families in month of April

Posted April 08, 2013, at 4:40 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage are encouraging Mainers to recognize a very special group of children as Maine celebrates April as the month to honor military children. Gov. LePage issued a proclamation naming April as Military Child Appreciation Month.

Each year at this time, with support from the Military Child Education Coalition, U.S. citizens recognize the contribution that the military child makes as their parent or parents serve either on active duty or in the reserve components of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard.

There are nearly 2 million military-connected children in the United States, according to the Military Child Education Coalition. More than 900,000 of them have had a parent deploy multiple times and more than 44,700 children are living with a parent’s wound, injury, illness, or death. Maine has nearly 6,000 military-connected children.

“So many Maine families have dedicated themselves to protecting the freedoms we share today, and it is fitting that we take the time to acknowledge the sacrifice and strength of Maine’s military children who are often left without a parent in the home for significant periods of time because of their service to our great Nation,” said First Lady LePage. “While we know children are resilient, we need to ensure they have the support needed to get them through difficult times.”

On Tuesday, April 9, Gov. LePage and Mrs. LePage will be named honorary chairs to the Military Child Education Coalition during the organization’s kick-off dinner at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Since 2011, Mrs. LePage has been an outspoken advocate for Maine’s military and their families.

“Ann does so much to recognize Maine’s military service members and I am very proud of her dedication to something her and I both believe so strongly in,” Gov. LePage said. “Today and every day, we encourage everyone to seek out opportunities to express appreciation for these remarkable children.”

The Military Child Education Coalition serves as a model of positive leadership and advocacy for ensuring inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children. For more information on the Military Child Education Coalition visit http://www.militarychild.org/

The governor’s proclamation reads:

WHEREAS, Mainers are forever indebted to our courageous men and women in uniform serving here and abroad who have sacrificed time with their families to protect the security and freedom of our great nation; and

WHEREAS, in Maine there are nearly 6,000 children, and nationwide, there are nearly two million American children with a parent serving in the military, and approximately 900,000 with parents who have been deployed more than once; and

WHEREAS, children and youth of our service members are major contributors to the fabric of strength for their parents every day; and

WHEREAS, children and youth of our service members are proud and ready to support their parents as they defend the Nation, and continue to make contributions to family, schools, communities, the Nation, and our state, despite prolonged and repeated absences of one or both parents; and

WHEREAS, the Month of the Military Child Appreciation provides an opportunity to pay tribute to these children who are a source of pride and honor to us all, and it is only fitting that we take the time to recognize their contributions, celebrate their spirit, and let our men and women in uniform know that while they are taking care of us, we are taking care of their children; the State of Maine applauds your pride, readiness, and resilience.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby recognize April 2013 as

MILITARY CHILD APPRECIATION MONTH

throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance.

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