Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Military Child

April is the Month of the Military Child
The official flower of the Military child is the Dandelion.  Why?  The plant puts down roots almost anywhere, and it's almost impossible to destroy.  It's an unpretentious plant, yet good looking.  It's a survivor in a broad range of climates.  Military children bloom everywhere the winds carry them.  They are hardy and upright.  Their roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely.  They're ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.
Experts say that military children are well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant, and extremely resilient.  Military children have learned from an early age that home is where their hearts are, that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world and in every color, and that education doesn't only come from school.  They live history.  They learn that to survive means to adapt, that the door that closes one chapter of their life opens up a new and exciting adventure full of new friends and new experiences.
~ Author Unknown
(Post-Deployment Reunion - April 2010)

So, to my three special munchkins who had no choice in being a military child... Mommy & Daddy are proud of you for how much you thrive, how smart you are, how you have learned to be flexible & adventurous no matter where the Air Force sends us to call home or when Daddy must leave to go elsewhere to "work."

 (First time seeing Daddy since she was 3 weeks old - that makes for a long 8 month deployment!)
It's a lifestyle that I've long known because, thanks to my father, I too was a military "brat"!  Although there are tremendous benefits to being in a military family, the children don't always see it that way while they are growing up. 
  • Many military children are born while their Daddy or Mommy is deployed halfway around the world. 
  • Too many military children have felt the overwhelming grief and loss of their Daddy or Mommy who was killed in action while serving this great nation.
  • Most military children will say goodbye to more significant people before they are 18-years old than the average person will in their lifetime.
  • Military children will move on average between 6-9 times between kindergarten and 12th grade.
  • There are close to 2 million children serving with their parents - a shout out to all those "Brats" both young & (ahem) old.

Thomas, Abbigail and Marilyn...
Thank you for your sacrifice, your strength and your resilience everyday.
Our life is not always an easy one to handle or understand.
But you teach us so much just by how you are, how you laugh, and how you smile.

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