Celebrating April as Month of the Military Child

Written by: Mayor of Minot, Tom Ross

April typically brings special meaning to residents of Minot for a number of reasons.

Hopefully, if the weather cooperates, it will actually feel like spring and outdoor activities will return after winter subsides.
April also means our short construction season is just around the corner. Orange cones and detour signs will start popping up all over North Dakota, not unlike flowers and dandelions. It’s an annual rite of passage, I guess.

But there’s another reason why we’re looking forward to April: The celebration of the Month of the Military Child. This year, the annual monthly observance has the theme of “Military Youth and Children: Brave, Fearless, and Resilient.”
There are more than 1.6 million military children who face unique challenges and experiences as a result of their parents’ service, according to the Department of Defense. On average, military families move every two to three years, impacting the children of a military family through changing schools and support networks.

Life can get complicated for a military family with children, especially if one parent or member of the household is deployed. Raising children as single parents is difficult enough these days, much less having to worry about the health and safety of the spouse or partner who is deployed.

As home to Minot Air Force Base, our community is well aware of the challenges facing military families and their children. We know there are adjustments that must be made when military children leave one of Minot’s school systems in the middle of a year, or when they arrive long after classes are under way in the fall. It’s something our own children recognize as part of living in a town with a nearby Air Force base.

It’s up to all of us in Minot to make sure we’re doing our part to welcome military families into all aspects of our community. Maybe it’s asking the new military family that moved in next door over for dinner. Or maybe it’s encouraging your children to make friends with the new family’s children. Perhaps it’s offering to take their children to school along with yours if that’s possible. It can also be as simple as saying “thank you” to the members of the family, because in reality, they’re all serving their country.

To those military children who call Minot home, we share these messages:
We’re glad you’re here, and we welcome your cultures, customs, and diverse heritage and backgrounds. Your contributions to the fabric of our community are invaluable.

We know for many of you, your stay in Minot will be one stop on your journey as a military family. We want your time in our city to be filled with respect, kindness, and compassion.

Thank you for being active and engaged members of our community. For decades, your involvement has made Minot a better city, and a better place for all of us to live, work, and play. Your presence here has helped Minot grow in new ways.
We know Minot is only one of many communities you will live in during your family’s military service, but we hope some of you choose to return to our community and become life-long residents. We know some of you have already done this, and we couldn’t be happier to share our community with you.

Thank you all for your service. It does not go unnoticed. We appreciate you all year round.
You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.

You May Also Like…

Pembina’s unique history…

Pembina’s unique history…

Anyone who has studied North Dakota history knows that Pembina was the first settlement in what is now North Dakota in 1797. But there’s a lot about Pembina that isn’t common historical knowledge. Most of this history can be found in the Pembina State Museum and it...

The Real Magic Wasn’t the Lights

The Real Magic Wasn’t the Lights

“Sorry that took so long,” my husband said as he came through the front door at 11:37 p.m. I was on the couch surrounded by freshly folded laundry, when he held out the keys and asked, “Are you going?”“No. I’m too lazy and too tired,” I replied.“You waited up. I think...

There’s a North in Northern Lights

There’s a North in Northern Lights

Friday and Saturday nights gave a lot of folks the chance to see a nice display of Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis happens every couple of months. Sometimes they are brilliant, lighting up the entire sky, and at times on Friday night the horizon was certainly ablaze...