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BPT salutes Month of the Military Child

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The Defense Department observes April as the Month of the Military Child to honor the year-round contributions, sacrifices and patriotism of the military community’s youngest members.

The Bossier Press-Tribune is proud to partner with Bossier Schools to show our support and appreciation for the military students and families who call Bossier home. Each printed edition this month will have a story that focuses on the local efforts to support these families.

Established in 1986 by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, Month of the Military Child recognizes millions of U.S. military children, ranging in age from infants to 18 years old, who have one or both parents serving in the armed forces. Military children face many challenges that are unique to their situation, including parent deployments, frequent moves, unfamiliarity and uncertainty about the next destination.

Bossier Schools will celebrate Purple Up Day Friday, April 8, at Benton Middle School. A special program will be held at 9 a.m. in the school’s gymnasium.

Bossier Schools is the only district in the state that celebrates Month of the Military Child with a Purple Up Day. It’s for honoring students like Rachel Carrigan and Mercedes Bengs. These Benton Middle School seventh graders come from military families and have similar stories.

Bengs was born in Japan and just moved to Benton from Germany. She said traveling is fun and she really likes meeting new people. She likes talking about her experience with friends, but doesn’t see herself as being different from anyone else.

Carrigan, too, has lived in Germany and many other states. She said it’s sad and frustrating when her dad deploys, especially when he misses birthdays and special moments. She has found that Benton Middle School has a strong support for its military student population.

To better serve the military student population, Bossier Schools welcomed Georgette Price as Military Student Coordinator.  Price is a professionally trained consultant to support military families through cycles of transition, separation, deployment and reintegration.

Georgette Price,
Georgette Price

Her job is to strengthen relationships between military leadership and the school system, increase understanding and resolve education issues to support military-connected students and families, and facilitate the use of local, state, and national resources for military-connected families.
The position was first funded by a corporate grant.

When grant funding finished, Bossier Parish Schools decided to create the position of Military Student Coordinator in the District as a full time school employee.

“By creating the Military Student Coordinator position in the Bossier Parish Schools system, I believe it shows how much the military children and their families mean to our school district,” Price said. “Knowing the district has invested in this way to support our military students, specifically in times of transition and separation, makes me so proud and grateful that my military connected children are part of the Bossier Parish School family.”

On April 26, 2013, Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker proclaimed April as the month of the Military Child and April 26th as Purple Up day for the city of Bossier City.  He asked the citizens of Bossier City to join in this special observance by wearing purple on this day and urged all to observe the Month of the Military child by connecting with military youth, military families and communities to provide support to all military children.

Former Governor Bobby Jindal proclaimed April as the month of the Military Child and April 25th as Purple Up Day for the State of Louisiana.