‘Purple Up’ to support military families, kids

On Tuesday, keep an eye out for friends, co-workers and students who are dressed in purple clothing. They may well be wearing the bright color to support and celebrate the more than 5,400 children in New Hampshire who have at least one parent serving in the military.

Since 1986, when former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger established April as the official Month of the Military Child, special events have been organized to pay tribute to children of military family. The Purple Up! For Military Kids day was started by the UNH Coooperative Extension Military Youth and Family Program in 2011, and Purple Up! Day is now celebrated nationwide.

“The idea is to wear purple that day to build awareness of what children go through,” says Kerry Close of Peterborough, who is promoting the idea to local schools and businesses. “This is not at all political. It’s a way to say to children ‘We are here, we understand, we support you.’”

Purple was chosen as the color to wear as a symbol of all the branches of the military. It combines the red of the Marine Corps, the blue of the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and the green of the U.S. Army.

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