Photo By Bob Smith Unsplash
I wanted to share my experience as a child in a military family growing up. I would love to receive comments from others in the military, past and present, and their experiences.
My dad and mom met while they were both stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas. They married and I was born within a year, and we lived there until I was 3, when my dad was transferred to Kaufbeuren, Germany in base-housing. We lived there for 3 years, and traveled throughout Germany and France, exploring the beautiful castles, countryside, and salt mines. I do remember the brightly colored teeter-totters on the playgrounds. We left Germany and lived in Indiana for 1 year, and because Indiana did not have Kindergarten, I never did have that on my school records. We then moved to Duluth, Minnesota until the middle of 6th grade. Both of my sisters were born there. My dad was stationed on an island in the Pacific for a year, so my mom and the three of us girls, moved to Colorado, to be close to my grandparents. I helped my mom with my sisters, but was becoming a teen, and wanted to be with my friends more and more. I remember when she had to get my sisters out of bed and come down and get me out of a theater in front of my friends. I was grounded for a while for that! After that year we moved to Merced, California for 4 years through my sophomore year. We then moved to Cheney, Washington for a year, and then to Denver, Colorado my senior year. I went to 3 different high schools in three different states but was still able to graduate with honors. It wasn’t easy always being the “new kid”, and leaving friends behind to make new ones.
My dad retired in Denver, and my mom decided it was time to go to work. I still helped out with my sisters, and while we were in Merced, my dad had gone to Vietnam twice during the war, and due to what they had to endure during that time, he started drinking heavily after he retired in order to deal with the death of many of his fellow soldiers. My dad was “old school”, and was not a man that would talk to anyone. He did earn a purple heart, but many of us do not realize the toll war takes on soldiers and their families. He was no longer in actual service, but could not forget what had happened overseas. He passed away at 64 of a heart attack. Recently, I started thinking he had PTSD, but when he was still alive he was never checked for that.
I do not regret growing up in the military, as you are brought up on strict standards and ethics, that help you when you go out on your own in the world. I do wish my dad could have been around more, but that is one sacrifice you make when they make it a career. I feel I was better educated, met many people who touched my life and was able to visit many of the locations we would read about in our history books. It is so much better to see it than just read about it! You learn respect and honesty, and that you work hard for a living, and have a love for your country! Yes, I did have to leave friends, but I did develop friendships that will last for a lifetime, whether they are in my life now or not!
GOD BLESS OUR SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN, AND THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SACRIFICES YOU MAKE, SO THAT WE HAVE THE FREEDOM WE ENJOY EVERY DAY!
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