Whitman Celebrates the Month of the Military Child with Military Family Appreciation Night

By Harmony Tahy
April 30, 2024

Every April, we take time to recognize the amazing young people who are part of military families! This year, during the Month of the Military Child, Whitman Middle School hosted its annual Military Family Appreciation Night.

Did you know Whitman has nearly 200 military-connected students? That's a huge part of our Wildcat family! Military Family Night is a long-standing tradition where we celebrate these families and the sacrifices they make.

The event started years ago thanks to After-School Specialist Saundra Perry. Ms. Perry wanted to find a way to welcome our military families, many of whom came from Fort Belvoir Elementary School, and encourage more parents to be involved at Whitman. Back then, the event happened in November, which was National Military Family Month at the time.

More recently, the event moved to April to better align with the Month of the Military Child. Former After-School Specialist Chris Tippins made it his mission to ensure the night was all about celebrating our military families. He remembers the incredible support from the entire Whitman community – staff pitched in to set up, collect donations, and serve food.

This year's event was just as special! We had displays about the military, resource tables to help families, and a presentation of the colors by the Mount Vernon High School Marine Corps JROTC. For dinner, we enjoyed delicious food donated by local restaurants.

We also had some amazing guest speakers! Captain Pete Shoemaker, Commodore of the Commander Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, shared his experiences. We were also honored to have Jeffrey McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, join us. Did you know Mr. McKay is a Whitman Middle School alum?

Military Family Night is a wonderful tradition that highlights the strength and resilience of our military families. Here at Whitman, we're proud to celebrate them every year!

Thank you to our Community Partners:

Mission BBQ, Wegman's - Alexandria, Maggiano's Little Italy, Shoppers Food Warehouse, Piasano's - Fordson Rd., Subway, McAlister's Deli, Jersey Mike's, El Paso, El Pollo Ranchero, Olympians Family Restaurant, Cake 4 Kids, Crumbl Cookie, Veterans Fishing Charter, Educational Enrichment for Young Patriots, United Community, Military One Source, Blue Star Families, Mount Vernon HS Marine Corps JROTC, CYS Fort Belvoir, Karen Olmstead - Coldwell Banker Realty, David & Sharon Buchanan, Joa's Balloon and Decor, Washington Nationals, Orange Theory Fitness, Great American Restaurants, Cold Stone Creamery.