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Raising a Military Child

This month, families all over the world are celebrating Month of the Military Child.

It didn’t hit me that I’m raising a military child until the other day when my daughter was admiring a new piece of wall décor I recently purchased. It’s a wooden board that hangs in our living room that reads, “Home is where the Army sends us.” Below it are several more boards that list the places we’ve been stationed. And on the Fairbanks, Alaska, board are a set of pink feet, representing the place where my 3-year-old was born.

Now she likes to point to it when people come over and explain to them, “This is where I was born.”

It was in this moment that I realized I’m raising a military child.

A child who will live in many places.

Who will go to school and most likely attend several schools as we move, in many different states (or countries for that matter).

She will meet friends and have to say goodbye to them.

And I don’t even want to think what will happen if we have to PCS during high school.

For now, I feel like we can get away with a few things since she’s only 3. But even with this deployment, things feel different. She understands that Daddy doesn’t come home at the end of the day, that we have to talk to Daddy on the phone before bedtime instead of him being here to read the bedtime story.

As she continues to grow and experience military life for herself, she’ll also come to understand the ups and downs of the military.

I like to think that as we go through military life, she’ll gain unique skills.

Independence.

Resilience.

Self-motivation.

Skills that will allow her to meet new friends quickly and maintain relationships long distance. I stay focused on what military life will teach us instead of the difficult situations my daughter will mostly likely experience because we need to PCS again.

But, even after we look at all the possible hard situations that we may or may not be faced with, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s these rough times in our lives that form us into a better version of ourselves.

I know my daughter will learn many skills that she can use to face similar situations in the future, especially when she’s grown and on her own.

I know we’ll get to see places of the world that normally we wouldn’t if we hadn’t signed up for military life.

So, to every rain cloud is a silver lining, where the sun shines around, giving us a glimmer of hope that all these tough times will prove to be worth it. I’ll be raising a military child in the meantime, taking the good with the bad.

Raising a person who will have to stand on their own from time to time, make hard decisions, and survive on their own two feet.

And sure enough, the military is going to help me do that.

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If you’ve read any of my blog submissions on Mission Milspouse lately, you’ll likely see a pattern where I have been mostly writing about what I’ve learned being a military spouse for the past twenty years but in presented in slightly different ways. In addition to...

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