Team Ellsworth rolls out purple carpet for Month of the Military Child

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brittany Kenney
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Military children were celebrated in a Purple Carpet Roll Out event at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, April 8, 2024.

Now in its fourth year, the event was held at the Youth Program Center on base to kick off the Month of the Military Child, being the first of several events planned throughout April.

“It’s a tribute to the kids we have here,” said Zoe Taylor, School Age Care Coordinator for Ellsworth Youth Programs. “They get to be the rockstars of the day and walk down the purple carpet, see their parents, get showered with confetti, and hear us shake cowbells while cheering for them; they get so excited!”

There are approximately 102 children that currently attend the center after school and during the summer, 70 of which were celebrated during the event. As they arrived from school, the children walked under a saber arch from the Douglas High School Junior ROTC, were cheered on by their parents, teachers, and base leadership, and went on to have a Candyland themed party with games, a taco bar, and a chocolate fountain marshmallow station.

“We get a lot of support from base leadership during this event,” said Taylor. “Seeing them take time out of their busy schedules to come and support the kids is very meaningful.”

There are more than 1.6 million military children who face challenges and unique experiences because of their parents’ service, to include moving every few years and having to change schools and support networks. For Maria Pino, retired Tech. Sgt. and mom of two children, events like this mean even more as her spouse is deployed, an experience her children are going through for the first time.

“I love these events because it shows the kids that they too are part of the military and they go through this journey with us,” said Pino. “It’s not just the active duty or the spouse, it’s the whole family.”