The 717th ABS virtually celebrates during Month of the Military Child

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Malissa Lott
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Ankara Elementary and High School held a virtual assembly to celebrate Purple Up Day at the 717th Air Base Squadron, Ankara, Turkey, April 15, 2020. 


The school planned Purple Up Day to celebrate military children for their sacrifices. Military children live through multiple moves, having to say goodbye to friends and loved ones more frequently than others. 


Participants were encouraged to wear the color purple to represent and support military children.


“This month, and every month, Department of Defense Education Activity celebrates our military-connected students around the world,” said Thomas Brady, DoDEA director. “Many of our students understand what it means to have their mom, dad, or in some cases both parents deployed far from home. I am deeply thankful to all military children for their courage and resilience in the face of adversity.


Parents are honored, as well, for instilling and fostering such outstanding values in their children, Brady added.


“Being a military child isn’t for everybody -- it shapes you,” said Lauren Eddy, Ankara military child. “I love it. I think it’s great. I’ve moved 13 times and I’m 18.


“You have to be super patient,” Eddy continued. “You  might hear, ‘oh you’re going to move here’ but it could change just like that. So you always have to be on your toes, you always have to be patient and kind of go with the flow.” 


Lt. Col. James Gingras, 717th Air Base Squadron commander, mentioned there are approximately 1.2 million military children that are part of the DOD’s dependent system. Even though life as a military child is a challenge, it also builds resilience, he added. 


“We know there are a lot of sacrifices for you and that being a military child isn’t easy,” Gingras said during the live broadcast. “I’m impressed by what I see from each and every one of you. When I talk to you, I see a sense of resilience and strength. I see a resolve and understanding that is unlike anything. What you have to endure in order to be a military child sets you apart and makes you even better.”