Partnering for the Children

  • Published
  • By SrA Cheyenne Lewis
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child by the Department of Defense, highlighting children’s role in the military community.

“MoMC embraces and honors the students within the schools who are military dependents,” said Stephanie Grout, Tyndall Air Force Base school liaison officer. “The individual [local] schools also celebrate throughout the month with spirit weeks and ‘Purple Up’ events honoring all military children.”

In 2006, the Bay Area Education Alliance was formed. This alliance between Tyndall AFB, Naval Support Activity Panama City, and Bay District Schools, serves to meet the unique needs of military members with children assigned to Tyndall.

“Bay District Schools understand the complexity of the military child’s educational experience,” Grout continued. “Each school allows for military dependents to be able to rapidly enroll without having all requirements by providing the orders the family arrived with. This ensures the students will not miss instruction time in the classroom as the family [arrives due to a permanent change of station].”

Tyndall has taken it a step further by signing an annual proclamation with the Bay County School District designating April as MoMC within the local community.

“I understand the challenges our kids go through,” Col. Greg Moseley, 325th Fighter Wing commander, added. “I know of no other area or community that’s more supportive than Bay County is. It’s seamless for our kids, and it’s because of the Bay County School District leadership that this support is present in the schools.”

Collaboration with those same partners led to an annual Military High School Graduation Honor Cord Recognition. Through community donations, Tyndall AFB purchases Recognition Honor Cords for military dependent students from all branches of the military to wear at their graduation ceremony. Military personnel and their families will generally relocate six to nine times within a military career and many of the moves are completed during a student’s high school years.

“The Honor Cord is very significant to some military students because this is the only recognition they will receive due to their multiple moves and high schools they attended,” continued Tamara Turnmeyer, Tyndall Air Force Base Child and Youth Services flight chief. “This recognition is very moving and lauded by both the military and local community”.

These are just a few of the many ways Tyndall’s partnership with Bay County ensures military children are taken care of, on and off base. There are approximately 1,800 military affiliated students in Bay County and it’s important to recognize their sacrifices as well, especially during MoMC.