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Military youth to be recognized in April

During the month of April, military-connected youth throughout the state will be recognized for the sacrifices they make while a parent serves in the Armed Forces.

"Parents can register to receive a letter from the governor that recognizes military-connected youth as being our smallest heroes and offers a small token of appreciation," said Laura Groeneweg, lead youth programs coordinator for Deployment Cycle Support Family Programs.

Dayton proclaimed April as Month of the Military Child on March 13, encouraging support for organizations that provide direct support to military children and families, said Groeneweg. Letters can be requested by visiting the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, or MDVA, website.

"Military members volunteer, but their families are drafted," said MDVA Commissioner Larry W. Shellito. "This program is an important recognition of the sacrifices families - especially children - make in supporting their parents. I'm proud of our tradition of honoring not only our service members but the family as well."

Month of the Military Child was first celebrated in April 1986 under former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, said Groeneweg. The recognition reinforces to military-connected youth that they play an integral role in supporting their service member.

Communities can also do their part to recognize military-connected youth during Month of the Military Child by wearing purple on Purple Up Day, which will take place April 15, said Groeneweg. Purple Up Day shows support of military-connected youth and raises awareness of their sacrifices.

Letters from the Governor can be requested at

For more information on Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, visit