Add this to section of your website

Ode to the Military Teenager

You have been told you are like the Dandelion,

Thriving and resilient, no matter where the wind takes you.

And you are, Military Child. You are! You did not choose this life, but you love the people that did.


As you get older…..


As you get older, perhaps you resemble the Dandelion a little bit less.

As you get older, the seeds become more difficult to plant. It is no longer an issue of a playdate or friend to eat lunch with.

As you hit the complexity of adolescence, your willingness to replant and restart wanes a bit.


And that is okay. 


Adapting is not compliance, and change doesn’t always bring Joy.

So, dear Military Teenager, I don’t think you are a Dandelion anymore. Waiting for the wind to tell you to “just bloom here.”

Maybe you are becoming less like a Dandelion and more like a Willow Tree.


Because although you surf the wind from one zip code to the next, you are actually grounded.


Grounded by your roots to family, not to your address.

Grounded by your choices, not by your options.

Grounded by your real relationships, not your geographical ones.

Your roots are deep, and your trunk is strong, nourished by your loved ones, your patriotism, and the family you made along the way.


But your Branches…..


Oh, your beautiful Branches, Military Teenager!

Your Branches blow in the harsh winds of adversity. They guide you through relationships, challenges, and new opportunities with every storm.

Your Branches offer shelter. For there are times, you just want to hide under them and recharge.

Your branches carry your passions and your interests as you reach for your dreams whether it be college, trade school, travel, volunteerism, sports, music and arts, or even returning to your service roots.

Your Branches provide a beautiful canopy of comfort and peace when you are at your fullest.


Your Branches reach far, yet you always come back to your roots.


Your roots for the things that nourish you.

Your roots for the people that love you.

Your roots for your beliefs and values that sustain you. 


But your Branches…..


Oh, your beautiful Branches, Military Teenager…

Your soft, flexible, long-reaching branches…

Tough, yet yielding to the elements you face.

Able to bend in every direction, but never break… That is you, Military Teenager.


For more posts that celebrate The Month of the Military Child, check out our Blog or our Podcasts. Tune into  Our PODCAST on Ways to Celebrate our MILKIDS.

*For more from the author, click HERE.



  • Kathleen Palmer

    Kathleen is an educator and project seeker from Texas. In her 28 years as an Army wife, Kathleen has taught and coached in six different states and Germany. Kathleen has a big heart for both Army families and soldiers having served as a Soldier for Life counselor in both Germany and Korea. Her favorite part of Army life is her acquired community of battle buddies! Kathleen loves words (both speaking and writing them) and has contributed to AWN, NMFA, The Fort Hood Sentinel, The Army Spouse Handbook, Inside Abu Ghraib, Memoirs of Two US Military Intelligence Officers, and The Army War College at Carlisle. Her favorite writing piece about being an Army wife is “The Lady in the Grey Suit” which was published in 2015 in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors (Vol.3). You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, or on her website, Life Is Messy, Love Big. Just like Kathleen, the site is a WORK in Progress! She also currently serves as Mission: Milspouse Director of Content.


  1. Sharita Knobloch

    Kathy… ALL. THE. FEELS. Well done and thank you! #ThatIsAll

  2. Sharita Knobloch

    Still lovely on the second go. THANK YOU!

  3. Justine Kaneris

    I am sobbing! So beautifully written.
    Thank you for wonderfully and thoughtfully capturing my boys so brilliantly.
    You know, I was just looking at my growing pre-teen the other day as my youngest quickly approaches 11, and my oldest becomes 13 this summer. I was wondering where they were in the world, since my husband’s job hasn’t really moved us anywhere in the past 4 years… are we still living the military lifestyle? I mean we have a home outside of post and I have community here that are not all military affiliated. It’s a weird spot to be in, but I am grateful. I have noticed that no matter how long we are here, these boys branches reach to where their closest friends PCS too and their roots remain close to us, never quite setting and still always adapting.

    Thank you for putting words to my thoughts. <3

    • Kathleen Palmer

      Thank you for your kind words! I think the teenage years are just hard no matter if you ar civilian or military, but having to start over when you are just trying to “figure it out” is so hard!!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904


Pin It on Pinterest

Verified by ExactMetrics