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April: A month of celebrating the military child

A set of boots for both father and son represent the Month of the Military Child April 10, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The month is about more than just events; it is also about the experiences military children have encountered and how it has shaped them into who they are today. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson/Released)

A set of boots for both father and son represent the Month of the Military Child April 10, 2013, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. The month is about more than just events; it is also about the experiences military children have encountered and how it has shaped them into who they are today. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The base will host multiple events for Team Buckley youth during the Month of the Military Child, which recognizes the unique challenges and experiences military youth encounter.

"Military children are a fraternity, a tight-knit group of kids," explained Tom Cox, chief of youth program at Buckley, "and these events give them a place to have fun with no confusion, because they all are going through the same thing."

In the spirit of Month of the Military Child, the following events are scheduled.

11 a.m. to noon April 15
Are we There Yet? - Moving with Children: This presentation covers the challenges children face when moving to a new location and tips to help children adjusted to their new surroundings.

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. April 16
Bullying Prevention: This presentation defines bullying, how to detect bullying and how to prevent the behavior. Addressing and preventing bullying is the key to developing healthy coping mechanisms.

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. April 18
Reconnecting with Children After Deployment: This workshop offers an opportunity to help the participants build on their personal strengths and increases their ability to address the issues of children's adjustment to the return of a military family member following deployment. Information about developmental issues and family dynamics are provided in a variety of activities designed to help adults reconnect with children.

11 a.m. to noon April 24
Co-Parenting: Tips and Tricks: This presentation addresses the many possible issues involving child visitation including transportation issues, maintaining consistency, rules and discipline, as well as solutions and coping skills that can help.

10 p.m. - 6 a.m. April 26
Operation Megaphone Lock-In: A night locked in the Buckley Youth Center that consists of inter-installation games and group challenges to include food, fun and social opportunities. This event is open to ages 13-18.

3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. April 26
Imagination Celebration: There will be arts and crafts activities, face painters, and a bouncy castle, with parents encouraged to attend. The event will be hosted at each of the Buckley Child Development Centers. This event is open to ages 2-12.

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. April 30
Parenting Teens: This presentation discusses the developmental milestones teenagers reach and provides an understanding of their development so parents can better support their young adults.

The month is about more than just events; it is also about the experiences military children have encountered and how it has shaped them into who they are today.

"I saw more amazing places and went to more countries by the time I was 5 years old than most people get to experience in their entire life," said Airman 1st Class Karissa Hoffman, 460th Comptroller Squadron. "I also grew up in a more structured home because of what my dad was taught in the military."

Senior Airman Daniel Johnson, 460th CPTS, echoed this sentiment when talking about his memories of growing up military.

"(The) most beneficial part of being a military brat was it helped me be more cultured," Johnson stated. "I saw many interesting things that many people never got a chance to see.

"(Though) the constant moving was tough, it helped me to be more outgoing. That helped out when I was out on my own, and really helped when I joined the U.S. Air Force," Johnson explained.

For more information on Month of the Military Child events, contact the youth center at 720-847-9992 or the CDC at 720-847-7215/6174.
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