Dandelions are a unique flower. They have the ability to grant wishes, are able to grow wherever the wind takes them. Just like these resilient flowers, military children are also unique, which makes the dandelion the official flower of the military child.
The Month of the Military Child was established in 1986 by Caspar Weinberger, the U.S.Secretary of Defence to shed light on the challenges that many military children face.
Research has shown that 75 per cent of military couples have children, and there are currently 64,000 military children growing up in Canada.
In recognition, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement to mark Month of the Military Child, “April is Month of the Military Child. It’s a time to recognize the remarkable resilience of military children and acknowledge the distinct set of challenges that come with being part of a military family.
“Our brave women and men in uniform have sacrificed time with their children to defend Canadian values both at home and abroad. Military children, past, present, and future, have made their own sacrifices, as they are often uprooted from their communities, leaving behind friends, schools and familiar settings.
“Service to the Canadian Armed Forces creates unique demands on all members of the family. We recognize the important role that families play in supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and acknowledge the many contributions children of former and currently serving members have made. Military families truly are the strength behind the uniform.
“Understanding the realities of military family life, the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada continue to work to support military families across the country. That is why Canada’s Defence Policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged provides unprecedented support for military families. Other initiatives including the Military Family Services Program, the Children’s Education Management, and the Veteran Family Program were also developed to respond to the unique challenges military families face.
“Throughout this month, we encourage all Canadians to reflect upon the challenges that military children face. Our military families serve alongside our women and men in uniform, so please join us in thanking military children for their countless sacrifices and in celebrating all of their contributions to Canada.”