Month of the Military Child, Joys & Challenges
By: Hope N. Griffin
April is the month of the military child and I find myself thinking of what it has meant to my small children to be military kids. My soldier is newly 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 faces 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 then the average person does in a lifetime
You see and experience more of the world and various cultures then 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 who 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 the constant friends wherever you go