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In Our Schools: GMS students go purple in support of military families



PURPLE
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GMS students with family members currently serving in the military gathered to support each other for Purple Day. (Jeff Ferland) (click for larger version)
April 18, 2012
Gilford Middle School students and staff showed their support for children of military families by wearing purple on Friday, April 13 to mark the 4H Youth Development program of University of NH Cooperative Extension's Purple Day.

Students with family members currently serving in the military gathered to support each other as they deal with the challenges daily life without seeing their father, mother or siblings.

Steven MacDonald, whose father served in Kuwait and Iraq, summed up the feeling of having a loved-one far away serving in the military.

"It's like a piece of the family puzzle is missing," said MacDonald.

Students like Sophie Serkanowski, whose older sister is serving in Afghanistan, said it's hard to go long periods of time without seeing her but

Many of her fellow students agreed that it felt good that people knew they had family members serving overseas. Even those like Jasmine Bourgeais and Nick Penny, whose fathers have returned stateside from their tours, still do not see them, as they are stationed around the country.

Brianna Salanitro said her stepfather is currently in the service, and because of that, she has never really had a chance to get to know him.

While it is important to remember the sacrifices of the members of our military, those who care most for them, their families at home, also make a tremendous sacrifice. Students said the empty seat at the dinner table reminds them every night of the missing piece of the family puzzle as they pray for their loved-one's safe return.

Purple Up for Military Kids Day, or Purple Day, is part of 4H Youth Development program of University of NH Cooperative Extension New Hampshire Operation: Military Kids for the month of April. They chose purple as it symbolizes colors of all branches of the military: Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and

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