April: Celebrating Military Children
There is an entire month dedicated to appreciating military children. I went all the way back to the first blog I wrote in 2015. The first words I wrote in my blog were:
“The official flower of the military brat is the dandelion. The seeds from this flower can be carried up to five miles away from its origin and lay down roots. It's obvious why they would use this as the symbol of a military child. But when I first found out that a weed was being used to symbolize myself and other children like me, I was disappointed. My favorite flower is a daisy, why couldn't they use that? Well it turns out, that daisies are similar to dandelions, in that, they are also weeds. If left untamed, these two flowers can take over an entire field. Daisies are also a wonderful addition to the symbolism of the dandelion. Because both flowers are symbols of happiness, dreams, and strength. Combine the two and you get a strong mix of resilience and optimism. What better words can be used to describe a child who is repeatedly plucked from their home to be replanted in a new strange place, and yet, they still have the ability to grow and prosper wherever the wind has taken them?"
In the five years that have followed since writing this, I have come to realize just how true these words are. There are ways in which the military life will follow you for the rest of your life. From the way you see the world, to how you form relationships, it has all been impacted (for better or for worse) by growing up in a unique environment. There are so many aspects of the lifestyle to be thankful for; seeing the world, friends from all over, a richness in perspective, the resiliency you build. However, there are, of course, challenges as well. This Friday you will hear from Ruth Van Reken, Author of Third Culture Kids, about some of these common trials and ways they can turned into a positive influence.
For now, let’s take a look at this infographic made by Veterans United Home Loans, for Military Child Appreciation Month. If you are a parent, don’t forget to take some time to really thank your kids for their support and resilience. If you are a military “brat” yourself, well… thank you doesn’t even cover it. You have a big job whether or not you and others recognize it, so be proud of the role you play... and maybe ask Mom or Dad for a little celebration cake this month :)