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NEWS | Feb. 29, 2024

Military children recognized at Kentucky General Assembly

By Andy Dickson, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

Approximately 80 children of Kentucky military service members were recognized by the Kentucky General Assembly for Kentucky Military Kids Day at the State Capitol and Capitol Annex in Frankfort, Kentucky on Feb. 27, 2024.

Children of servicemembers from almost all branches were first introduced to the House Committee for Veterans, Military, and Public Protection (VMAPP). They also participated in demonstrations from the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, scavenger hunts in the Capitol, and ended with serving as a page to their senator or representative from their home counties in a legislative session.

This year marks the 11th year of recognizing the children of military households. Kentucky Military Kids Day was introduced by State Senator Jimmy Higdon through the wife of a National Guard Soldier who had been deployed many times.

“The spouse said, ‘You really need to do something for military kids,’” said Higdon. “’They serve also, and they make a lot of sacrifices.’ It’s been a great event every year and has become a tradition here in the General Assembly at the State Capitol, we’re just excited about today.”

The kids were able to introduce themselves during the VMAPP committee meeting by telling the representatives their names, ages, where they are from, and the branch of service their parent(s) serve.

“My name is Mason, and I am 13 years old, and my mom is in the Army.”

Another child chimed in to point out his dad in the crowd.

“My name is Oliver, I’m 10 years old, my dad serves in the Kentucky Army National Guard and here’s right over there!”

Kentucky National Guard leadership was also present for the event as guest speakers; Brig. Gen. Brian Wertzler, the deputy adjutant general, and Karen Lamberton, wife of Maj. Gen. Haldane B. Lamberton, the adjutant general of Kentucky National Guard.

“This is the third year I have been able to participate in this event,” said Karen Lamberton. “I think it is wonderful because we try to let the kids know that they are set apart and set above. I try to emphasize how military families are only one percent of the entire population in the country and what they go through in the way of change and incorporating their parents’ lifestyle into their own involves them learning coping skills that many children are not exposed to.”

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