Peoria’s American Legion Auxiliary, 9847 W. Desert Cove Ave., and the City of Peoria are encouraging community members to show support for military children by wearing purple on Purple Up! Day, on Thursday, April 15.
The color purple represents all colors of the military-- Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force and Marines-- meshed together.
“Peoria and surrounding communities are home to many Luke Air Force families and they would be grateful to see social media flooded with ‘purple’ photos using the hashtag #purpleup,” Peoria resident and Auxiliary Unit 62 president Tammy Early said.
Passed by Congress in 1986, the entire month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child in recognition that troops, their families and their extended families are all integral parts of the Armed Forces. This year, April 15th has a special place in that observance. Each year, one day is designated for community to come together and demonstrate support.
“Our veterans and their families have given so much to this country and we are forever indebted to their service,” Mayor Cathy Carlat said. “To further show our appreciation and support to military children and families, Peoria City Hall will be lit purple from April 15th – 18th. Please join me in honoring their tremendous service and sacrifice.”
Nationally, there are 1.82 million sons and daughters of military service members in communities today. Not only do these children face separation of a parent who may be deployed multiple times for extended periods of their childhood, they also undergo the challenges of constantly moving, according to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Family Readiness Policy. Frequent moves disrupt friendships, schools, and the conveniences that come with being familiar with a community.
In addition to promoting and supporting military child recognition through Purple Up! Day, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 62 is currently planning a COVID-safe family day at Litchfield Park’s Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium for families who have a parent deployed.
American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of veterans, military members and their families both here and abroad. Nationally, members volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value averaging $2 billion each year.
The John J Morris American Legion Auxiliary Unit in Peoria has been awarded the top national Auxiliary award for its efforts in meeting the needs of active military, veterans, families and youth. Email ALAunit62AZ@gmail.com.
Editor’s note: Marge Christianson is the Public Relations Volunteer for American Legion Auxiliary, John J Morris Unit 62, Peoria.