More military children will be able to attend this year's free Operation Purple summer camps around the country- but the April 6 deadline for applications is looming.
The National Military Family Association is able to send about 2,600 military kids ages 7 to 17 to the weeklong camps at 24 locations, thanks to a partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project. NMFA created the program in 2004 as a way for military kids to have a fun and rewarding experience in the company of other kids with similar experiences in military life.
Priority goes to children who have had or will have a parent or guardian deployed within a 15-month window. NMFA has also carved out another priority category for the camps this year that will help more children of wounded warriors attend.
Children of service members who incurred service-connected wounds, injuries or illnesses on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are given priority. They were previously eligible, but this year, the deployment window doesn't apply to them.
Remaining camp slots can be filled by any military child registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. The camps offer various activities, but depending on the location and age group, could include swimming, hiking, service projects, arts and crafts, zip lining and rock climbing.
Officials urge families to apply to a camp close to home because transportation costs are not covered. For more information and to apply, visit the website.
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