A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

County honors military children

Apr 29, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

With 1.7 million children in the United States having a parent or sibling serving in the armed forces, many are recognizing April as the month of the military child.

In Wyoming alone, there are 5,000 children affected by at least one parent deployed in the military, and 77 of those youth reside in Fremont County, according to figures.

"These kids are amazingly strong and the statement that children serve is an understatement," said Paul Johnson, whose 18-year-old son, Matthew Johnson, serves as lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps.

County commissioners on April 10 approved a proclamation honoring April as the month of the military child.

"The recognition of April as Month of the Military Child will allow us to pay tribute to military children and youth for the commitment, their struggles and their unconditional support of our troops because when parents serve in the military their children serve too," according to the proclamation.

"These children and youth are a source of pride and honor to us all, and it is only fitting that we take the time to recognize their contributions, celebrate their spirit, and let our men and women in uniform know that while they are taking care of us, we are taking care of their children and youth," the proclamation states.

The document encourages "all citizens, business and government leaders to observe the month with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor, support and thank military children."

Matthew Johnson told commissioners the thought of losing a parent for a year or more to the military is concerning.

"I don't know what it would be like to not have my dad or my mom for a year or 14 months," he said.

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