FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) – April is recognized nationally as Military Children’s Month, a time to focus on the unique challenges faced by the children of those who serve.
To honor their sacrifice, Fort Wainwright is working with the Fairbanks North Borough Star to host an event on Saturday, April 15 at the Pioneer Park Civic Center.
Fort Wainwright Garrison Commander Col. Nathan Surrey is scheduled to deliver the opening remarks.
The event then continues with live music and informational booths from businesses and organizations throughout the community.
The booths will offer interactive activities such as crafts and photography aimed at grades 1 to 6.
Accompanying the hiring fair. Janet Farris, Fort Wainwright School Communications Officer, said, “We have been planning this event since the fall. I would probably say around September we put together Parks and Rec, myself and other Fort Wainwright organizations, the Eielson Air Force Base organization and the school liaison officer in Eielson and the school district. So it’s very much a partnership to make sure it’s as successful as possible for military-connected families and the city as a whole. “
This is the first year that the free event will be held in cooperation with the district.
It will have government and civic vehicles that members of the public can see and touch.
According to Kathryn East, recreation specialist with Fort Wainwright MWR’s special events team, preparing for the event showed her that “the Fairbanks area and the North Pole area are very used to the military community, so it’s all about coming together and sharing. were very grateful. about this event. It’s something new and we wanted to break down the barrier and just kind of show Military Child Month from the post and bring everybody together, just kind of embrace it for the whole community.”
Children of military families face different pressures.
These children are likely to move more often than the general population, once every two years.
They also face the prospect, and sometimes the reality, of having a parent abroad.
There are things the Fairbanks community can do to help. “Be a guest. Welcome them into your loving arms, make sure they belong, make sure you talk to them, and make sure their social and emotional well-being is there because that’s what matters most. their social and emotional well-being is more affected. , just a simple ‘Hey, how are you?’ and let them know you’re there,” Farris explained.
When asked about some of the potential benefits of being a military child, East said, “Being in the military community, you get to travel all over the world and learn about new cultures, which gives you a really great perspective on life as a young person. . . . You’re very good at making new friends because you have to move to a new place as soon as possible, so I think all military guys have an advantage.”
Participants in the event are invited to wear purple.
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