"From the Mouths of Babes"

Candy Olivares

April is the month of the Military Child. So much can be said about the resiliency of the military family.  Every two to three years a family picks up and moves to another duty station meeting the needs of the military with our country’s best interest in mind. A new duty station, a new life and new circumstances for everyone in the family. This month we celebrate our Military Children. I wanted to conduct an interview with my son and see what his feelings were on being a part of a military family. It’s “from the mouths of babes,” that you can truly get an understanding of how this lifestyle is truly seen and understood thru the eyes of a child.

A little background on our family: my son is 8 years old and in his lifetime we have PCSed four times and my husband has done one 15-month deployment. Our son was only 11 months old during the deployment so he doesn’t really remember anything about being apart. Most recently, however, there have been lengthy TDY assignments.

Q. What do you think about being a Military Kid?

A. I think it’s very nice. I like it a lot.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a Military Child?

A. I like traveling. I haven’t been around the world yet, but I like traveling. I’ve been to Washington D.C., Texas, Georgia, Florida. That was one of my favorite places. Meeting new friends and going to new schools.

Q. How do you feel when you meet another Military Kid?

A. Well I feel like we are kind of related. Because they are part of my kind. They are Military and they travel. That it’s another me.

Q. If you met a new friend and they told you they were a new Military Kid? What would you tell them?

A. Welcome to the Military family. Expect to travel, meet new friends.

Q. Why do you think we have to move around so much? And how does it make you feel when Daddy says it’s time to move again?

A. Because we have to follow the military. At first I get sad, but then I get excited. I am sad because I will miss my friends. But then I get to make even more friends at our new home. I have so many friends in different places now.

Q. Where do you want to move to next?

A. That’s a tough question. Oklahoma maybe? Are there twisters in Oklahoma? Maybe I don’t want to live there.

Q. How would you feel if we moved to another country and if we would have to change a few things? Would you want to learn a new language?

A. I would feel confused and sad. But I wonder what language it would be.

Q. How do you feel when your soldier has to leave?

A. I feel sad and happy. I am sad that he’s leaving but I’m happy because he’s going to be teaching soldiers how to protect our country. I’m proud that my daddy is a soldier.

Q. So far what’s the best thing that you have felt being a Military kid?

A. I feel important. Because I feel like I’m one of the soldiers.

Now I know, I’m biased, but how great is this kid? Oklahoma? Twisters?! Hilarious!

The decisions we make as parents play such a part in our children’s lives and how they grow. It’s so important to listen to our children and help them express themselves when it comes to our lifestyle. I personally loved hearing that he saw other military kids as “part of his kind”! Wouldn’t it be great if all of the adult military family members felt the same way?! Ask your child these (or similar) questions and see what they think! No matter their answers, celebrate your Military Child each and every day!
 

Candy Olivares is the mother of two boys and for the last 14 years, the wife of a soldier. She's a writer, wanna be runner-chef-television critic, traveler and just lover of all things family-life and fun.

 

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