In honor of the Month of the Military Child, Bedford High School Principal Heather Galante announced that on April 15, students are encouraged to wear purple to show solidarity with the Hanscom Air Force Base population. Students that reside on Hanscom AFB make up roughly 15% of the student body at Bedford High School.
The origins of the Month of the Military Child can be traced to former Department of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who established and initially commemorated the month in 1986. Similarly, the significance of the color purple derives from the fact that no service’s official color is purple, and it signifies unity within the branches.
Bedford High School Senior Zach Fernandez, a resident of Hanscom AFB and the base’s Youth of the Year in 2019 and 2020, said that celebrating the Month of the Military Child signifies support from his Bedford peers.
“At Hanscom, we believe without Bedford being by our side, and in our community, we would not be able to make relationships with friends that are not constantly moving,” Fernandez said.
Freshman Emily Doucette, who was awarded the same honor as Fernandez in 2021, noted the similar importance of the support from her Bedford peers.
“Although I entered the high school during the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been embraced by many who are from Bedford,” Doucette said. “That has made this year easier, and I am so appreciative for their friendship.”
Fernandez noted that moving has helped make him the person he is. “Meeting new people, traveling to different places in the world, starting a new life and journey, getting the ability to go help your parents and go to their promotions,” Fernandez rattled off, highlighting his favorite aspects of being a military child.
Doucette similarly stressed that moving around has made it possible for her to share her experiences. “Whether it is as simple as what living in other parts of the country is like, or something far harder to understand like the struggles of being the ‘new kid,’ it has been my goal to help those not in my shoes have a greater understanding,” Doucette said.
Students are encouraged to “Purple Up” on April 15, whether in-person or virtual, to show unity with the Hanscom AFB student population.