Military Kids Speak | Military Family Expert, Julie Rahm

Friday, January 20, 2017

Military Kids from Sigonella, Italy March in the Inaugural Parade

Click here now to see the NPR story on military kids from a base in Italy marching in the Inaugural Parade.  And then, read about life growing up in military families in the words of military kids in Sigonella and around the world in Military Kids Speak! (Click on the link to read a preview!)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

Volume, By Gabrielle M. Age 12

What is a military brat? This is a term to describe kids like me. A term that says we are dependent, whiny, childish, and immature - that we lack a voice and aspiration. But you'll be surprised at how we truly live. We live with a kind of maturity you wouldn't think of, while carrying the weight of many responsibilities. And we military kids do have a voice - an astonishing one. 

It was extremely hard to leave San Diego, California for the first time. Actually, that's an understatement. I will miss sandy beaches, bustling downtown, and blue oceans. Days where I wake up at 7:00 a.m. to drive to High Tech Middle where all my best friends will be waiting for me seem far away. I will long for the mornings of cousins and family chatting and watching television. But, I am to blame for this. I made the choice to go to Sicily, Italy so there's no backing out. Like they say, you get what you asked for. However, what I got wasn't half bad. 

The thought of school in Sicily made me shudder, yet it filled me with curiosity. I knew it would be a bit hard to adjust to this school since I came from a project-based learning school. What would the classes be like? What classes will I be taking? What are the students like? Will I fit in? These questions stirred in my head while I made my plans to survive middle school. I had decided then to stay low, meet some friends, and get through everything. Only later, had I realized I was wrong. Like every person does before its back to school again, I got a new look. Although, not only had my looks changed, how I thought became different too. I felt more patient and understanding. I looked at life differently and looked for inspiration in many situations. I also felt more confident about myself, like a unique individual. I'm not trying to be narcissistic, I'm just simply acknowledging the fact that I'm different and I'm proud of that. 

For me, making friends was unbelievably easy. At first I was quiet, and reserved. Many of my classmates have told me they were intimidated by me the first time they met me. I kept to myself. But, once I showed my true colors, people threw themselves at me like moths drawn to a fire. 

Living abroad has its ups and downs. Keeping in touch with my family and friends back in San Diego can be difficult at times, especially with the different time zones. Also, going out into town is a disadvantage if you don't know where to go and/or if the language is different. But, with the disadvantages comes the better part of living abroad. First, the beautiful places and cultures are amazing to see, because they hold so much history. The best part though, is meeting new people. 

Whenever I think about being in this military family, I feel lucky. Many Filipinos have dreamed of one day going to America. My family was one of those lucky ones. Many years have passed and now we've arrived in Italy. To tell you the truth, I'm proud of my father for being in the military for such a long time. 

Deployments are very long and worrying. It can be hard for a family member to be gone for that long, but you get used to it sometimes. But whenever my father is gone I have a responsibility that I have to carry out on my part. I have to help out my mother with daily activities and do chores that my dad would usually do. I have to act mature and be responsible in school. So even while my dad is gone, I still have many responsibilities. 

My stay in Sicily, Italy has so far been amazing. When I look at what I said about just trying to survive being a military kid, I realize now that I must live with a purpose, or as Henry David Thoreau said, "to live deliberately”. I encourage military kids all over the globe that are lacking ambition to finally stand up and speak with loud voices letting people know who they are and what they stand for. I hope that they find that inspiration, patience, maturity, emotion, and strength that I've found during my stay here. I hope that they find that uniqueness in themselves as military kids and be recognized for it.

How to Make Memorial Day Meaningful to Kids

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Artist Dave Dorman on Growing Up in a Military Family

Did you know that Dave Dorman has been the premier Star Wars artist since the first trilogy, and that he grew up in a military family? Dave is featured in Chapter 16 of Military Kids Speak.

Enjoy some excerpts of Chapter 16 below.

Dave Dorman on growing up in a military family:
"I'm grateful that my dad chose the career he chose. I have great respect for everyone in the military. I would not change my childhood at all, because it put me where I am today."

What did you learn as a result of being raised as a military kid?
"I learned tolerance. Diversity was always there. I learned to understand different people. Living in different places having people of different races as your friends, everybody was just a kid. There was no difference. Everybody was together for one thing- the support and defense of our country. My learned experience is that everybody is equal. As I grew up and learned about history and racial differences, I thought it was so weird that people could think that way."

When did you start drawing?
"I have been drawing since junior high school. Drawing in the science fiction theme was a way to escape my lonely times and create a whole different world to think about. As a senior in high school, I decided to make art my profession…"

Just one thing
"Have faith, and support what your parents are doing. Have patience with them, because they are doing something very important for us and for our country. And know that they love you even if they are gone for a long time. Their love is still with you. It doesn't leave with them."

Check out Chapter 16 of Military Kids Speak to find out more about Star Wars artist, Dave Dorman and where to write to him!
Click Here to See the Latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens Art By Dave Dorman!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Original Star Wars "Luke Skywalker" Mark Hamill Reveals Details about Growing Up in a Military Family

Did you know that actor Mark Hamill grew up in a Navy family and lived all over the world? Chapter 9 of the book Military Kids Speak features Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy. Enjoy these thoughts from Mark:

Where did you live growing up?
"Port Hueneme, CA; Williamsburg, VA; San Jose, CA; New York City, NY; San Diego, CA; Alexandria, VA; and Yokohama, Japan."

"We moved about every two years, except for our time in San Diego. We lived in San Diego for four years, which was great. I went to fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grades there. Even so, I went to three different schools there. We moved to a different house after I finished fourth grade. So I went to a different school for fifth and sixth grades. And then I changed schools to start junior high school."

Was it easy making new friends when you moved to a new place?
"It would take me a little while, but it wasn't hard. There is a lot of camaraderie among military kids. I remember being in Japan and looking at this guy thinking he looked familiar. One day we were in the cafeteria at school and he said, 'I thought the same thing about you.' It turns out we had been buddies when we were eight or nine years old and living in San Diego. It was a wonderful moment. It was so out of context that it took us a moment to figure out how we knew each other."

How did you feel about the military lifestyle - deploying, relocating, making friends?
"Growing up, we moved from coast to coast about every two years. When I was very young, it was an adventure. I loved the monumental scope of packing everything up and driving across country - staying in hotels or camping out. It was all very exciting."

"But as I got older and started going to dances and wanting to hold hands with girls, then I really disliked moving intensely. I disliked the idea of it. You move to a new place and you'd be a stranger, be the outsider for two, three, or four months. After I got settled in, I always liked where we lived."

Check out Chapter 9 of Military Kids Speak to "hear" more from Mark Hamill about:

  • what activities he was involved in as a child
  • what he learned from being raised in a military family that made him successful now
  • what his biggest challenge was and how he handled it
  • how he got the part of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy
  • where to write to Mark
One of my favorite stories was how Mark got a drama club started at his high school in Japan. Just because an activity doesn't exist when you arrive doesn't mean you can't get it going!

Here are a few final words of advice to other military kids from Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill:
"Take your experience and make it work for you, because you are unique. Maximize the opportunities you have that civilian kids will never be offered. Be proud of your parent's service and know you are special."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Helping Hands = Making a Difference, By Lauren Anderson at Age 11

Being a military child can be tough. Making a difference in the community is something each person in the military does. You can do it too! Making a difference in the community is something that I not only enjoy doing, but it is also something that can relieve stress. 

I like to make a difference by raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I am the 2009 Honorary Youth Candidate of the Year. This job of being the 2009 Honorary Youth Candidate required me to raise money, collect donations, collect auction items, and do different types of fundraisers. As a result of all my hard work I put into the fund raiser, I got to go to a dinner at the Skirvin Hotel. I got to take my friends and people that have made a difference in my life. These people included my three closest friends, my Mom, my Grandma, two of my Grandma's friends, and my fifth grade homeroom teacher. I received a gift from my teacher. It was a Willow Tree figurine. It was very neat. My Dad was not able to make it due to being stationed at Fort Leavenworth, KS for a school that he had to complete for the Army. 

The fun night started out with a silent auction. There were many items up for bidding. There was anything from a family fun day to a spa resort package. Next came the dinner. It was a three course meal. After dinner was the live auction. My items consisted of a private concert for six by a professional recording artist. He happily donated his service after experiencing a family member live with cancer. 

Helping your community is not only good for it, it is also good for you. You learn responsibility and many other things. I believe that my parents have raised me to help the community in any way possible. My Dad helps fight for the freedom of our country and I want to help my community. 

In 2008 I raised over two thousand dollars for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I would encourage everybody, military child or not to find a cause they like and fully support it. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is just one of the many organizations you could join. Helping makes you a better person. If you join a cause, be prepared to fully join it. Do not start and quit in the middle. It is a task that can take up a lot of your spare time. I think it is worth it, though, because it is fun and hard work. You want to put forth your best effort with the intent of helping others. A wonderful bonus is that you might win a prize! Really it gives you a very good satisfaction that you did something good for your community. My favorite part about helping the community is the feeling that you get knowing you have helped the community to improve for the better. 

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a society that raises money to help find the cure for all different types of blood cancer. Some of their fundraising techniques include an annual walk and an auction. They are both very successful. They also offer team in training where they raise money, but the volunteers that participate get trained by others that help them to run a marathon. Other organizations like the American Red Cross are great, too. They help people in need. 

Helping your community is a great thing to do. It will always make you feel good about yourself when you finish. Any fundraiser is a fantastic way to help out. Anyone can help. As a military child, giving back is just one trait that I have. I am very proud of it. I want to help my community and world. By serving your community, you could save someone's life. I consider helping my community an honor. My parents have taught me to do the best that I can in everything I attempt. One of those things is helping my community. 

The world can be a better place just by doing one small thing. You do not have to do many great big giant things, you can do one small little thing and you might make an impact on someone's life. In order to be good at helping, you need to be fully committed and ready to serve. You might have to listen to other people, so be prepared to obey people older and younger than you. It is tough work, but it is definitely worth the work and time. 

Loving what you are doing is also very important. If you do not fully understand and get what you are doing you won't ever reach your full potential. This is where the suggestions of others helps. Their personal experiences can come in extremely handy. It doesn't matter your color, height, weight, age, history, or anything else. You can help!


Julie Rahm

Mindset means everything. And no one knows this better than Julie Rahm, aka America's Mindset Mechanic. A former naval physicist, Julie applies physics to the energy of human thought and the results thoughts create. As a military daughter, spouse and mother-in-law she has experienced the challenges of deployment separations, frequent moves and telecommuting careers while remaining happy and achieving her dreams. With her passion and people-loving style, Julie has provided the metaphorical tools for thousands of people to bridge the gap between their thoughts and their lives. Julie Rahm, M.S., is a certified Frame of Mind Coach who has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts, including The Phil Knight Show and ABC affiliates. She hosts The Mindset Mechanic LIVE on Saturdays and Sundays on FM107.1 WTKF and AM1240 WJNC in Eastern NC. Her weekly column The Mindset Mechanic appears in The Pamlico News. She has been quoted in numerous newspapers, and on the web at and Julie is an inspirational keynote speaker conveying life lessons through a blend of intuitive success strategies, enlightened wisdom, humor and fun. She is the Champion of Military Kids around the World. Julie's latest book is Volume I of Military Kids Speak.

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