Linton Mayor John Wilkes took notice recently when a packet of information came across his desk that suggested ways to support the youngsters of Indiana military personnel.
Wilkes said the Greene County area is considered a military community because of its close proximity to NSA Crane, one of the largest U.S. Naval bases in the world, and the presence of an active Linton-based U.S. Army National Guard unit that has been deployed twice to combat zones in the Middle East.
That makes Linton a perfect place to participate in the 2013 Operation: Military Kids event.
Wilkes will get it started Monday night when he will ask the city council to approve a resolution declaring the month of April as Month of the Military Child and designating April 15 as Purple Day to bring awareness to the plight of the children of those serving in the military.
Purple is the color that represents all branches of the U.S. military.
"We don't think enough about those kids that are left behind when their parents are serving in the military," Wilkes said.
On April 15, Wilkes is asking city residents to wear something purple and he will be passing out specially designed purple buttons hat day.
Ryan Wynkoop, state coordinator for Operation: Military Kids, notes, "Because Indiana is the fourth largest National Guard in the country, the number of children who have been impacted by deployments over the past 10 years is significant. In addition, every branch of the military represented is represented in Indiana. ... These families are in every community in our state. Because Indiana does not have active installations, military connected children can go unnoticed by their neighbors."
"These kids are left behind and they need to be recognized," Wilkes said in pointing out that to his knowledge the city has never participated in the program before.
The Month of the Military Child is sponsored by the Military Family Research Center at Purdue University, Indiana 4-H, Boys and Girls Club, American Red Cross, Purdue Extension, U.S. Army Child, Youth and School Services, Indiana National Guard Family Program, Child Care Aware of America and the Indiana Association for Child Care Resource and Referral.