The Joys and Challenges of Military Children

By: Hope N. Griffin

I find myself thinking of what it has meant to my small children to be military kids. My soldier is now retired and as I reflect back on his time in the military I can’t help but be thankful for the environment in which my children were raised.

Challenges Faced by Military Children

Military children face challenges others often do not encounter until adulthood. The first time I personally had to deal with a loved one dying was in college. My children grieved the death of a friend’s father at the ages of nine, seven, and five. Constant moves and saying goodbye to friends takes a toll on young hearts.

War did not touch my life until 9/11, for my children they do not remember a time when deployment wasn’t hanging over our family’s head. Now that my husband is medically retired we, as a family, are struggling with the realities of combat-related injuries and PTSD.

Children are impacted by combat trauma and their parent’s battles with PTS. Read what this Military Kid had to say about his father’s PTSD.

The Joy of Being a Military Kid

Challenges bring with them the opportunity for blessing. My kids have endured a great deal of pain, loneliness, and struggles but they are better, stronger people for those experiences.

Here are just a few of the blessings that come with being a military kid, feel free to add to this list in the comments:

  • You make more close friends by the age of 18 than the average person does in a lifetime

  • You see and experience more of the world and various cultures than other children your own age

  • You live in a community of people who would give their lives for you

  • You learn what dedication and hard work look like

  • You have adopted mom’s looking out for you at every military installation you move to

  • You know, when you live on post, that nearly every house will feed you

  • You are part of a large community that will continue to root for you throughout your life

  • You’ve networked and made contacts that will last a lifetime before you even turn ten

  • You’ve learned to live in a diverse community of varying faiths, ethnicities, politics, and more

  • You know what it looks like to love your neighbors and to step up and help those in need

  • You don’t take life or liberty for granted

  • You learn empathy

  • You build strong ties to your siblings because they are constant friends wherever you go