Month of the Military Child
April is Month of the Military Child. The Department of Defense celebrates military children during the month of April by recognizing the challenges they face and celebrating their important role in their family and community.
I celebrate these kids every day. I am a spouse of an active duty military member and have two children who didn’t choose this life but they live it everyday. 15 years into this gig and it never ceases to amaze me the strength and bravery of children of military members. My kids know change is imminent in their life all the time; new communities, new friends, new schools, new home- this is on repeat every 2-3 years. This doesn’t even include the changes in everyday life with the ebb and flow of deployment cycles and the operational tempo for their dad.
My kids have endured deployments, missed birthdays and holidays, many moves, and changes in their lives. I do not discount the challenges they face or ignore the hard emotions at such a young age but they have also been able to be a part of an incredible adventure. They have had the opportunity to live in different regions of the country, meet new people who live all over the world, and build social and resiliency skills that I believe will help them in their future.
As I sit on my porch, living on a military installation, I watch kids running free and playing together until that 5 o’clock trumpet sounds signaling colors. At the first sound, you see all the kids stop, hands over hearts and face towards the installation headquarters where they know the flag is being retired. There are jokes and wiggles but an innocent form of reverence to a mission and lifestyle that wasn’t their choice. They teach me every day to be brave and to enjoy life in the present.