Children of military members recognized for their sacrifices

TOMAH, Wis. (WEAU) -- In Wisconsin each April, the month is dedicated to the children of those who serve our country.

Monday in Tomah, both the Sparta and Tomah school districts, along with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, honored those children.

Monroe County has one of the largest populations of military children in Wisconsin, because of the proximity of both Fort McCoy and Camp Douglas.

"So it's important that we take time to recognize their sacrifice because these children are sacrificing their parents to go out and serve our county. And so this is a really great event to kind of honor them and just appreciate everything that they go through when their parents serve," said State Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point).

On average, a child in a military family will move multiple times before they turn 18.

Both of Tomah High School Senior Gregorio Simpson's parents served in the Army.

He says growing up as a military child instilled a certain culture in him.

"I think we were raised everything was a contest, you gotta be on top, you gotta be a winner. Because in the military we don't get the opportunity to lose, it's not something that we get to do. So I think that they gave me the ability to strive for more, to be more, to want to be on top and to really put myself out there and be who I am," said Simpson.

He will soon take those lessons to South Carolina, where he is set to begin basic training as a member of the Army in June.

"It's just the way my life has been up to this point. It's pretty much been an integral part, so joining was like I could do this, I could go to college, I could get a degree or I could serve my time and give back to those that have given me so much," said Simpson.

According to the DPI, every school district in Wisconsin has students whose parents serve in the military.