Month of the Military Child: Minnesota families celebrate at Purple Up

More than 1,200 military youth and their families attended the annual Purple Up celebration at Mall of America on April 19, 2024.  

The event, hosted by Minnesota National Guard Child & Youth Program, was held in honor of Month of the Military Child, which is observed each year in April across the United States Department of Defense. to recognize the commitment, contributions, and sacrifices military youth make for the nation.  

Josiah Moss, 13, son of Army Capt. Andrew Moss, of the 1347th Division Sustainment Support Battalion, has attended the Purple Up event six times.  

“Month of the Military Child is a chance for kids with a military parent to be recognized.  It’s not even the stuff that you guys do, like Purple Up; it’s just nice to be recognized.” Moss said. He added that the best part of being a military child is, “I can be proud of what my dad does.”  

This year’s event included music, face painting and airbrush tattoos, caricature artists, character appearances, giveaways, treats, activities, rides at Nickelodeon Universe provided by the Mall of America, a Build-A-Bear experience provided by USAA and the Minnesota National Guard Association.  

Purple is the official color of the military child. It is a combination of all the colors of the U.S. Armed Forces — Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard blues, Army green, and Marine Corps red.  

In addition to the Purple Up event, the Minnesota National Guard Child & Youth Program hosted an art contest and photo contest. Families were also able to request a letter from Governor Tim Walz thanking military youth at There are more than 16,000 children in Minnesota who have at least one parent serving in the military. 

By Cristina Oxtra 

Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs