Purple Star Week

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child by the Department of Defense, so Saint Patrick Catholic School dedicated the entire week of April 15 to celebrate the perseverance and sacrifice of all of our military-connected Wolfhound students. Over 40% of our student body has a connection to the military and each of these children bring a unique perspective that helps shape and enrich our school culture.

Military service is a perfect example of servant leadership and what it means to live a Life of Vocation. Soldiers and sailors often feel called to serve their country and feel a duty and obligation to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They selflessly give up many of their own wants, needs, and “freedoms” in order to serve. While the service member makes that choice for themself, we often forget the sacrifice military spouses and children make in support of their service member(s). We should not forget that military children move an average of every 2.5 years during their parent’s commitment to service. This means a new home, a new school, new friends, and new activities in each new place and long days, weeks or months away from their parent(s).

Purple is the color designated to represent the Month of the Military Child, so the planning committee began by placing giant purple ribbons around our campus and students and teachers decorating purple bulletin boards in the hallways. In addition, librarian Betsy Cox put together a patriotic display of military-related books and memorabilia throughout the month of April, so all students can learn more about military service and the sacrifice made by servicemen and women and their families. 

On Monday, April 15, military parents and students were welcomed to campus with a family breakfast and an opportunity for fellowship in the Media Center before second through eighth graders gathered for a special assembly to hear from Charles U. (Grade 5) and Loveday S. (Grade 5) about their experiences as military children.

On Tuesday, April 16, military parents came in uniform to greet Wolfhounds students as they came to school on the front and side loops. Afterwards, a flag raising ceremony was held during which fourth grade student Rhys H. sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. The morning of activities culminated in the dedication of our very own Liberty Tree meant to bring peace and comfort to our military families and stand as a reminder of their strength and resilience. Military-connected students with parents currently on deployment or those leaving our community because of new orders came forward to tie a yellow ribbon to the newly-dedicated tree.

On Thursday, April 18, our entire Saint Patrick community was encouraged to wear purple in honor of the Military Child. During the morning assembly for second through eighth grades, our students heard directly from the Rule family currently stationed in Japan via video. Amelon graduated from Saint Patrick in 2022, but her brother Jack had to start his fourth grade year on the other side of the world when his parents Ethan and Mariah got their latest orders. The Navy family talked about the transition, making new friends, and maintaining a strong relationship with their Wolfhound community. To close the assembly, siblings Gianna, Max, and Stella D. shared their experiences from their time stationed in Japan and making new friends at Saint Patrick after their father was ordered to Naval Station Norfolk. These testimonials from home and abroad proved to be very moving for all. Finally, on Friday April 19 students were invited to wear red, white, and blue and enjoy a picnic lunch on the green. During lunch students, faculty, and staff were treated to the presentation of colors by the Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Color Guard! 

This has been a truly special week at Saint Patrick Catholic School. We would like to thank Raelyn Baumgartner, Brigid Barrineau, Lauren Howlett, Taylor Kelly, and Teresa Tenney for sitting on the Purple Star committee and planning all of the week’s events and activities. As we continue through the month of April, let us keep our military-connected students in mind and show our support for them and their families however we can. Happy Month of the Military Child!