Home Community Angus #TealUp Takeover: BFRC Seeks Local Support for Military Kids

#TealUp Takeover: BFRC Seeks Local Support for Military Kids

Borden Family Resource Centre staff and children on CFB Borden holding TealUp flags and wearing teal to represent military kids across Canada (Caleb Hooper/Citoyen Borden Citizen)

Wear teal on 30 April for the month of the military child

Originating from the United States in 1986 and now gaining serious traction in Canada, April has been recognized as the month of the military child by the Borden Military Family Resource Centre (BFRC) who are encouraging others to wear teal to support the cause on 30 April.

The life of military children is often riddled with unique challenges only faced by those with a parent in a service role. Transitions, deployments, separation and relocation are some of the most difficult times for children of military families as they too bear sacrifices.

Initially, CFB Shilo’s Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) reached out to MFRCs across Canada to introduce and promote the idea of Teal Up Day; a day in April chosen by each Base’s MFRC to represent military children across Canada by wearing the colour teal which combines the air, sea and army corps uniform colours.

“There are children who go from living that civilian lifestyle and then their parent goes through the recruitment process and that whole family joins the military lifestyle,” said BFRC Family Navigator, Jennifer Landon.

Dandelion Project Kit and ‘The Dandelion’ Poems available at the BFRC on display (Caleb Hooper/Citoyen Borden Citizen)

Landon has seen many of the nuanced issues that arise in military families and aims to promote awareness of the sacrifices that children and families make when a member joins the CAF.

BFRC Family Navigator, Maude JeanWorkman was a military spouseherself and recalled her family’s experiences when her husband joined the military.

“When my husband joined, our family was already established., It was like we joined the military together as a family,” Jean-Workman said.

Both Landon and Jean-Workman encourage military children who are faced with these challenges to reach out to their local MFRC and seek out assistance at every age level from elementary to high-school through the Military Family Services Education Team.

“Each family has a different set of needs and that’s where Maude and I come in,” Landon said. “The goal with our role is to provide a unique support to each family as they need it and connecting them to the community supports that are available.”

To spread the message of TealUp Day across local communities, the BFRC supplied schools in Angus and Borden, Ont. with 3,410 stickers for every student to wear on 30 April so that everyone can #TealUp and support their peers with family in the CAF.

At the BFRC members and their families can show their support for military kids by grabbing a dandelion project kit which is a fun activity for the family that can be displayed in your front window in support.

Project kits also come with the anonymous poem titled “The Dandelion” which explains the meaning behind the symbol for the month of the military child:

The Dandelion: The Official Flower of the Military Child. It takes roots almost everywhere, is almost impossible to destroy, is unpretentious but beautiful, and can survive in a wide range of climates.

Military children thrive wherever the winds take them. They are sturdy and straight, with roots firmly planted and nurtured in the culture of the military. They are ready to fly with the tiniest breezes, off to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.

The military child is open to new cultures, tolerant, and extremely durable. He or she has learned from an early age that home is where the heart is, and that friends can come from the four corners of the world and in all colours.

That education doesn’t only come from school. He or she knows that the best way to survive is to be adaptable, and that every time an old chapter ends, a new chapter opens with the beginning of an exciting new adventure.

Share your support for military children and families by using the hashtag #TealUp across social media platforms and post photos of your family wearing teal on 30 April. An official Facebook page has also been created to keep track of the day’s events across the country.

“We want families to know that we are here to support them,” said Jean-Workman. “That is our biggest message no matter what the challenge might be.”

By: Caleb Hooper