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Pioneer Middle School wears purple to honor fellow military students

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From boots to shirts, the color purple predominated at Pioneer Middle School last Friday.

Designated "Purple Up! For Military Kids," a large number of students wore the color purples to show their support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices.

Purple is the color that unifies all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.

"We are a military town and school," Andre Stout, the school's principal, said as he proudly wore a purple University of Washington windbreaker.

"About 80 percent of the children here are attached to the military, and this day is a way to show respect for their families and the children."

Stout also pointed out that April marks the nation's "Month of the Military Child."

A driving force behind the Purple Up! Event is the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), an organization zeroed in on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition.

"This organization is a great help," commented Charm Harris, a counselor at the school and an advisor to the Junior Student to Student, or JS2S, program.

The goal of JS2S is to make students' transition from one school to another easier.

"We help incoming students readjust in their relationships, finding their way here in the school and in academics," Harris added.

The program works much like the buddy system in the Army - current students at the school help incoming students settle in.

But for the day, the color purple dominated.

"I like the wearing of purple," student Brooke Leech said as she stood in her purple boots.

"It's a mixture of all of the services and how we are proud of them and those of us who serve."

For more information about MCEC, visit

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