As N.C. State University’s baseball team took to the field against Duke University on April 28, military youth and their families — representing all branches of North Carolina’s armed services — were on hand to participate in the third annual Military Appreciation Day Baseball Game.
Military youth — children of reserve, guard or active duty members of the U.S. military service — attended the game for free and ran out on the field with Wolfpack team members for the singing of the national anthem. In addition, game day fans had a chance to see a helicopter and a Hummer display provided by the National Guard, try their hand at a climbing wall and see airmen parachute into the Doak Stadium.
N.C. 4-H Youth Development’s Operation: Military Kids (OMK) organized the military youth who participated in the “Run With the Pack” during the opening ceremonies. Seventeen military youth ages 5-17 were selected to run out with the Wolfpack baseball players as the starting line-up was announced. This is the third year that N.C. OMK and N.C. State Athletics have provided military youth a chance to “Run With the Pack.” The baseball event is sponsored by N.C. State’s Army ROTC program.
Earlier in April, Gov. Beverly Perdue proclaimed April as the “Month of the Military Child” in North Carolina, to honor the children of National Guard soldiers and airmen, and those of all members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
North Carolina is home to more than 123,000 active duty, reserve and guard troops, whose families include more than 109,000 military youth through age 18.
4-H in North Carolina serves the state’s military youth through a number of initiatives, including summer camping programs, 4-H programs and activities and a Mobile Technology Lab where youth can create messages for their deployed parents. Speak Out for Military Kids is a 4-H program that trains youth to understand and advocate for military youth issues and to inform citizens about building community networks to support military families.
For more information on 4-H military youth programs, contact J. Scott Enroughty at 919.515.8500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the websites at www.nc4h.org/military or www.operationmilitarykids.org.