The Department of Defense (DOD) created a Pride-themed coloring book for military kids amid a cross-military service push to celebrate Pride month.
DOD announced the theme for Pride month in 2023 was “Equality Without Exception — Pride In All Who Serve,” and planned to host activities through various sub-agencies, including parades and family story hours, to observe Pride month. The activity booklet is geared toward younger audiences, according to DOD’s Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), which is noted on the final page as having published the book, and was promoted to children by other DOD entities, the Daily Caller News Foundation found.
The coloring book, dated in June, appears to be among various training and awareness materials the Pentagon created to aid Pride observances, which are featured on the dedicated DEOMI webpage. (RELATED: ‘Threat To Our Readiness’: Space Force Lieutenant General Rails Against ‘Anti-LGBTQ+’ Laws In Red States)
“The Activity Book is designed to share with your younger event attendees but can be enjoyed by all ages. It showcases coloring pages and encourages learning through games and activities,” DEOMI wrote. It did not provide a link to the book, so it couldn’t be determined with 100% certainty that DEOMI was referring to the coloring book.
However, the Ramstein and Vogelweh libraries serving a large American military community in Germany, encouraged kids to “Download and complete the DoD Children’s Pride Activity Booklet,” linking to the coloring book with the DEOMI press logo, and instructions to visit the website for more information.
The first page shows a flag with each line labeled one color of the rainbow, encouraging children to embellish the flag accordingly. “Respect, dignity” and “service” are written in the flag.
Other drawings are marked with slogans urging children to “think before you speak” and “use your smile to change the world.” Another activity is aimed at reinforcing the idea that harsh words can damage someone else’s heart.
A quote emblazoned on the final page, “We are all unique, and have our own special place in the puzzle of the universe,” highlights a depiction of a globe cracked open, with puzzle pieces spilling out.
Yesterday, the Pentagon hosted its 12th Annual LGBTQ+ Pride Ceremony. We celebrate the honor and service, commitment, and sacrifice of our LGBTQ+ service members. The DoD is committed to inclusion and using diversity as a strength for our Services.
View some of today’s speakers: pic.twitter.com/tguAzLruAE
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) June 8, 2023
“Members of the LGBTQI+ community serve their country, fully contribute to the DoD mission, and deserve a welcoming environment which enables them to reach their full potential,” Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros wrote in a memo inaugurating DOD’s 2023 Pride month observance.
“During the month of June, we recognize and value the contributions of the DoD civilian employees and Service members in the LGBTQI+ community who serve our country,” Cisneros said.
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