In recognition of Month of the Military Child and Purple Up for Military Kids Monday, 470 students and the faculty at Audie Murphy Middle School at Fort Hood dressed in purple and formed an arrow on the grass in front of the school.


Hundreds of Fort Hood’s Audie Murphy Middle School students — most dressed in purple shirts and holding up purple pieces of paper — stepped out of their classrooms and stood in the shape of an arrow pointing westward.

Principal Mike Quinn stood on a stepladder on the roof of the school and used a bullhorn to communicate with his 470 or so students and faculty on the ground.

Monday, the middle of the Month of the Military Child, was Purple Up For Military Kids, part of the 4-H Youth Development program.

The school used its activity period to gather students together in purple and shape the arrow as support for military students and families.

The idea came from Veronica Zapata, secretary in the school’s assistant principals’ office.

She recalled, while working at an elementary school in Killeen, children formed a symbol in support of Red Ribbon Week and wanted to try something similar in support of military students at the middle school.

They considered trying to form a ribbon, but decided an arrow would be easier to form.

“It’s our arrow up for Purple Up,” Zapata said. “Since we’re all military, we wanted to honor them.”

Twenty student leaders at the school and various staff members drew out the arrow and modeled the pattern in advance of the photo session Monday.

An Operation: Military Kids Texas newsletter pointed out that purple is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue.

Fort Hood is hosting more than 100 family-oriented events this month in support of military children.

For a complete listing of activities, go to

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