COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In 1986, the Department of Defense designated April as the Month of the Military Child to honor the sacrifices and challenges many military families overcome.

The National Veterans’ Memorial and Museum (NVMM) has selected the last week in April as “Military Child Week.”

For every guest who wears purple or mentions Military Child Week, the museum will grant a free youth admission ticket with every adult ticket purchased for up to three children.

Purple is the color the Department of Defense chose to symbolize the Month of the Military Child.

“So, if you combine all of the colors of each of the military branches, green for the Army, blue for Air Force and Navy, red for the Marines and blue for the Coast Guard, you get purple,” said Col. Bill Butler (Retired), NVMM Chief of Staff.

Purple is also a color that represents unity in the joint nature of warfare.

“And all the branches that conduct our military operations, purple is the color or the joint force,” Butler said.

Butler is currently retired from the service and he now serves as chief of staff at NVMM.

“I was in the military for 27 years on active duty in the Army, and my kids moved 11 times,” Butler said. “That’s 11 different communities, 11 different schools, 11 different times that they would have to make new friends and jump into a community with both feet.”

He understands the hardships military children endure when a parent is deployed overseas and the importance of honoring those children this week at the museum.

“For the last 20 years, we’ve been fighting the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, so with an all-volunteer force, you’ve got these men and women who are service members deploying back-to-back-to-back,” Butler said.

This makes military parents absent for many family events at home.

“Those families then endure the spouse having to be a single parent and raise the kids and of course, the kids have to deal with the worry of one of their parents being deployed and in harm’s way,” Butler said.

For more information on visiting the museum during Military Child Week, visit: