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COLUMN: 'Purple Up' for military kids

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed April as the Month of the Military Child in South Dakota.

"This month is a time to honor our community youth who have been impacted by deployments in the past and who will face many challenges in the future, especially the reintegration of the family after enduring long separations due to deployments," said Sheila Troxel Snyder, SDSU Extension state coordinator of the Operation: Military Kids Program.

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Several activities are being planned for the month of April in communities throughout South Dakota, including Purple Up! for Military Kids Day on April 15.

This day has been proclaimed as a special way to show appreciation for our military kids by wearing something purple. All citizens of South Dakota are being encouraged to wear purple on that date. Mayors across the state will proclaim Purple Up! Day in their cities. Citizens are being encouraged to be creative and think of other ways to say thank you to our military kids for their service.

Operation Military Kids is an ongoing, dynamic program to support and promote the children of deployed military service professionals. OMK is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army, South Dakota 4-H, American Legion and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Its purpose is to provide local community support for the children of service women and men from South Dakota. SDSU Extension administers the program and its offices are located at South Dakota State University's West River Agricultural Center in Rapid City.