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Supporting Military Families

How you picture home

This April, for Military Child Appreciation Month, we asked kids in grades 1–12 to tell us what “home” means to them. Talented youth from around the world responded with artwork, poems, and reflections. Each submission was unique, but we found shared themes that showed the universal importance of home to all kids — military and civilian alike. We’re excited to share these touching submissions with you.

We would like to thank the students and parents who participated in this campaign and for giving us a glimpse into the importance of home. Over the last seven months, submissions came from coast to coast, and even as far away as Japan. Students from civilian families; families from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force; National Guard and Reserve families; children of veterans; and from Gold Star families, all put their creativity to use to show no matter our differences, we all need a place to call home.

Special thanks to the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Armed Services YMCA for their participation in helping us collect submissions. We are excited to display your work on our website, on social media, and even right here in our office in Washington, D.C. “Picturing Home” may have come to a close, but we encourage everyone – civilian and military, in school or out  –  to never lose sight of what home means to you and to always be grateful for both new friends and old, wherever you are.

Megan, Age 7, Cameron, NC
Active Duty, Veteran, Army
Joseph - Bellevue
Joseph, Age 7, Bellevue
Active Duty, Air Force
Iris - Manassas
Iris, Age 8, Manassas, VA
Betsy - Manassas
Betsy, Age 7, Manassas, VA
Calvin - Manassas
Calvin, Age 5, Manassas, VA
Veteran family
Shepherd - Strasburg
Shepherd, Age 8, Strasburg, VA
Lucy - Strasburg
Lucy, Age 6, Strasburg, VA
Charlotte - Manassas
Charlotte, Age 6, Manassas, VA
Hayden, Age 11, Washington, DC
Active Duty, Air Force
Trinity - Maryland
Trinity, Age 13, Maryland
Amelia - Triangle
Amelia, Age 6, Triangle, VA
Veteran, Army
Haley, Age 11
Active Duty, Army
JaLynn - Sanford
JaLynn, Age 10, Sanford, NC
Veteran, Army
Jack - Santa Fe
Jack, Age 9, Santa Fe, TX
Veteran, Marine Corps
Lindie, Age 16
Active Duty, Navy

Lindie at 10th grade student at Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan was assigned to write a piece of poetry about where she calls home for Honors World Literature. This was the piece she wrote.

Our family currently resides in Okinawa, Japan but will PCS in the coming months to Los Angelas, CA. Both my wife and I are originally from Delaware and we try every summer, when living in driving distance, to visit our “home state” to ensure our military children know their family.

Evan, Age 8
Colton, Age 7
Active Duty, Marine Corps
Emma - Sanford
Emma, Age 11, Sanford, NC
Gold Star Family
Seanice - Lillington
Seanice, Age 9, Lillington, NC
Active Duty, Army
Amilia- Sanford
Amilia, Age 9, Sanford, NC
Gold Star Family
Jenna - Mount Pleasant
Jenna, Age 13, Mount Pleasant, SC
Anastasia - Alexandria
Anastasia, Age 7, Alexandria, VA
Dylan - Sanford
Dylan, Age 11, Sanford, NC
Active Duty, Army
Alice - Fort Meade
Alice, Age 6, Fort Meade, MD
Active Duty, Army
Stella - North Carolina
Stella, Age 7, North Carolina
Veteran, Marine Corps and Army National Guard
Aiden - Woodbridge
Aiden, Age 9, Woodbridge, VA
Active Duty, Army
Willa, Age 7, Oceanside
Active Duty, Navy

Home means my parents, my sister and my pets. It means love, kindness, healthiness and caring. Home is where we love each other, support each other, care for each other and help each other.

Abby, Age 9, Tampa, FL
Active Duty, Air Force

My daughter is only nine years old, but has moved five times. We are a proud Air Force family. My husband has served 24 years on active duty and still going. It’s an exhausting process to move every few years, but Abby always says that home is where her dad, mom and brother live – no matter where that may be. I give her permission to be angry during a move, she’s earned after five. She wrote this poem as a way to express the way she feels after another PCS this summer from overseas back to the states. Military kids always seem to find the brightest sunbeam under the darkest skies.