More than 1 million American children have a parent currently serving in the U.S. military, according to the Department of Defense. Many of these military children are faced with unique hurdles, such as being separated from a deployed parent or repeatedly having to move and start at a new school. Military children move an average of six to nine times during their K-12 education. In addition, approximately 40 percent of them follow in their parents’ footsteps and join the military.
April is Month of the Military Child, and USAA is raising awareness of the strength and sacrifices of military children across the country. USAA’s Bank, Vista and Convent buildings in San Antonio will be lit purple on Friday, April 12, 2019, which is designated “Purple Up! for Military Kids Day” by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. In addition, USAA’s regional campuses in Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Tampa and Plano will also be lit purple, and all USAA employees are being encouraged to wear purple on April 12 to show their support.
“Month of the Military Child reinforces that it is a family commitment to serve all the way to the children,” said Kent Fortune, Colorado Springs regional vice president. “Having been an Air Force child, I understand firsthand about having to move alot and go to many different schools. I am so proud of my dad’s service and of being a military child.”
USAA is encouraging other companies, organizations and people across the country to also “Purple Up” on April 12 to show their support. Other San Antonio landmarks pledging to go purple include the Alamo Quarry Market smokestacks and the Bexar County Courthouse.
“These young people are serving our country by helping and supporting their military parents,” said Steve Cochran, assistant vice president at USAA as well as a Navy veteran and 2019 Military Affairs Council Chair for the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. “It’s an honor to recognize them and their sacrifices, and wearing purple on April 12 will be a small gesture to let these military children know how much we truly appreciate them.”
USAA and The USAA Foundation, Inc. invested $2.3M in philanthropic grants in 2018 to organizations that support military children, including: Military Child Education Coalition, Clarity Child Guidance Center, Zero to Three, Sesame Street for Military Families, Comfort Crew for Military Kids and Our Military Kids. The programs support military children throughout their ages, developmental stages and life events.
“We know when military personnel serve, their whole family serves, too,” said Harriet Dominique, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs at USAA. “That’s why USAA’s corporate responsibility strategy prioritizes support for military children and their wellbeing.”