Military Family Month was established in 1993 by the Armed Services YMCA, with the U.S. Government recognizing the occasion every year since. Each November, ASYMCA celebrates Military Family Month to demonstrate the nation’s support and commitment the families of military personnel. With hundreds of thousands of service members deployed overseas, recognizing the daily sacrifices made by military families has never been more important.
In addition, ASYMCA holds an annual Student Art & Essay Contest. The contest is officially launched every November and is open to all eligible children of U.S. active duty or retired service members. Winners are chosen the following Spring.
Winners of both the art and essay contests have their winning entries displayed in a number of locations in the Washington, D.C., area, including in the Russell Rotunda, and are recognized at an annual luncheon on Capitol Hill. ASYMCA awards U.S. Savings bonds totaling $7,600 to 1st and 2nd place winners of both contests, as well as honorable mention recipients of the essay contest.
"Our annual art and essay contest allows children to express their love, appreciation and admiration for their military heroes," said Mike Landers, CAPT, USN (Ret), and national executive director of ASYMCA. "Their essays and artwork also serve to remind us of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform, and their families, make each day for our country."
The 2012 Student Essay Contest is co-sponsored by Lockheed Martin. The essay contest promotes reading and writing among children and teens of active duty military or retirees from all six branches, and students in grades 1–12 are asked to write about "My Military Hero."
The 2012 Armed Services YMCA Art Contest is co-sponsored by GEICO. the art contest promotes art among children of active duty or retired (with 20+ years of service) from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard/Reserves families. Children in grades Kindergarten through sixth are eligible to enter. Winning artwork receives U.S. Savings Bonds. One $500 first place and one $100 second place bond will be awarded in each service category. Top six winners (one from each service will be highlighted on the Armed Services YMCA annual Military Family Month Poster.
For a list of the 2011 winners and more information, download the various, visit the Student Art & Essay Contest page.