Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Rollercoaster Ride, By Junavy Frianeza, Age 11

My life as a military child so far has been complicated, but at the same time rewarding. When I go to new places and new schools, I always have to adjust and make new friends. I have to learn new things that might be hard or easy for me.

Whenever I move into a new place, I start to feel shy. Being in new classrooms always makes me nervous. Coming to a new school can mean that I don't know what to expect. After a while, though, I'm not “the new kid” and I get used to my new school. I start to “blend in” and I can become myself. Sharing jokes with my classmates starts to become easier. It can be challenging, but in the end I start to like where I am.

Moving around all over the world can be hard, and I have to sacrifice a lot to move to another place. But some advantages to being a military child are that I learn how to adjust to different environments and make new friends. As I go all around the world, I can experience what it's like to be in different places. I've lived in Japan, Europe, and Washington State. Moving and getting used to these different cultures has been painstaking. Coming to a new place usually means learning a new language, getting used to different kinds of weather, and tasting new foods. After a while, it can be fun to live in different places because I get to discover and learn new things.

Some kids from the States might not have learned and experienced as much as I have. Adjusting to new places, fitting into a new school and dealing with being the “new girl” are things that I have learned. I have probably been to many more places than any “normal” person in the States. As a little girl, I have been to Tokyo Disneyland a couple of times. Now, in Italy, I have seen the ancient ruins in Rome.

Part of being in a military family is learning how to sacrifice things that are important to you. A few of the many things I have experienced that are hard for me are leaving friends and places I love. Even from when I was just a little kid, I can still remember the friends I have had. Although it is hard moving around, I still talk and visit some friends from when I was only three years old. I have met friends that like to joke around, friends that understand my problems, and friends that cheer me up in their own, extraordinary ways.

As a military child, I have taught myself to be independent and help myself reach my goals. There have been many situations when I failed, but that never stopped me from trying again. I have the support of my family and friends to help me and they have always encouraged me in everything I do.

My life as a military child is like a rollercoaster. If I'm feeling really sad, my rollercoaster is spiraling downward. But when I'm really happy, my “rollercoaster” of a life is flying upward and I feel like nothing can bring me down.

Because of my experience of adjusting and moving around, I know that I'm probably more mature than other people in the U.S. because I have learned to deal with all the obstacles so far in my life. My life has come with its drawbacks, successes, failures, and achievements. I have been taught to deal with all of those things, and I know that is what makes me a true military child.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Living Abroad, By Brandy Patricia Koslowsky, Age 11

My name is Brandy P. Koslowsky and I am 11 years old. I was born in Yuma, Arizona, on December 21, 1998. In 2000, we moved to Okinawa, Japan. I've lived here ever since. Living abroad my whole life is very interesting. I learn new things every day about Okinawa and its heritage. I get to go to new and very different places. When you are living abroad, you can do many different and exciting things than other people in the world.
One thing I did that other people may not have done is wear a kimono. A kimono is a very fancy dress. Just to tie the dress, you need three ribbons. The fabric is really soft and brightly colored with different images such as flowers, dragon files, and different birds. When you wear a kimono, you usually put up your hair in a very high bun. Kimonos are most commonly used at very special occasions like tea ceremonies and weddings. When I see people wearing kimonos, they look extremely pretty! Another thing I did was go to an underground cave. Once I reached the cave, it was very damp and cold. You will definitely need a jacket. Drops of ice cold water started to drop from the roof of the cave. If one lands on your head, make a wish and for the rest of the day, you will be so very lucky! In the cave, you will see different lakes of water. The water is freezing cold and shallow. In the water, you will see a lot of species of fish, eels, spiders, and scorpions that are running about. When the cave ended, a beam of light hit my eyes. I could barely see because my eyes got used to the darkness of the cave. Going to the caves was very fun! There are a lot of breath-taking places in Okinawa.

When you are living abroad, there are different cultures to learn about. In Okinawa, they have many different foods and techniques to make food. When they eat their food, they only use two sticks to eat their delicious food. These are called chop sticks. When you first use the chop sticks, it is very frustrating and very confusing. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier to use, but be careful. The food could slip! Most of Okinawa's foods are eaten with rice. They also make balls of rice into different shapes, such as triangles, squares, rectangles, and different size balls. Sometimes, my mother makes me a "bento" for lunch. A bento is a lunch that has different things in it, such as rice balls, vegetables, and a different variety of meat. The package the food is put in is a box or a rectangle. After that, the Japanese culture is to rap the box or rectangle in a handkerchief so it is easy to carry from place to place. Bento is one of my most favorite things to eat for lunch. Another kind of food is "ramen" and "soba." Ramen is a long skinny noodle. With the noodles are soup, egg, and different healthy vegetables. Soba is similar to ramen. Soba is a fat, soft, long, and silky noodle. The noodle has soup with it, too. It also has meat, kamaboko, and ginger. Kamaboko has different things in it such as vegetables for adults and pictures of cartoons for children. My family and I eat soba on New Year's Day at midnight. We do this so we can have a lucky year, but if you cut the noodle in half with your teeth before it is completely in your mouth, you will have a shorter life and some bad luck. I would very confidently say that Okinawa's main food source is seafood and rice.

Okinawans speak either Japanese or Okinawan. The Okinawan language is almost a dead language.

In Okinawa, people come and go. I know people that traveled through the original thirteen colonies, London, Paris, and other famous and popular parts and places in the world. They bring different lifestyles with them. Their lifestyles are very interesting. They bring different stories and legends with them, too. They have different accents and foods. They speak and pronounce words a little funny sometimes, but we just smile and say it correctly or "keep on trying, you will get it right.” Living abroad has been an exciting experience for me and my family.

I am proud of my father for serving our country and families. I am proud of the United States military and I am most certainly proud of serving my beautiful country.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Moving, By Emily Parrott, Age 11

Being a military child is unique and has its advantages and disadvantages. We get to have special identification cards at age ten while most non-military have to wait until they are older. We know more about the world than most and can adapt to new situations easily. While most kids usually never set foot outside of their hometowns, we travel all over. But with traveling, comes another experience. That experience is moving. That is what I am going to talk about in this essay.

There are quite a few negative things about moving. But it is part of being a military kid. It is hard to look at it that way, though, when you are actually moving. Sure, you are going somewhere beyond your wildest dreams (or nightmares), but you are leaving friends and possibly family. It is really hard to leave the community that you have worked so hard to fit into. It is a highly frightening experience. "You will make friends when we get there," your parents say, as though you are just walking down the street to visit a family. "It is an adventure!" they declare, "and whether you like it or not we are going!" Yes, moving can be a pain in the neck sometimes, but it isn't going to change anything if you whine.

Though there are lots of bad things about moving, there are also lots of good things about moving too! It is usually fun to move to exotic places. If you happen to move back, you already have friends!

Also, have you ever heard the song that goes "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold?" Well, that song is true. You can still keep in touch with old friends. And new friends are always out there! In school, in the neighborhood, and at activities, new friends are everywhere, waiting for you to discover. If you put yourself forward, anything is possible!

Personally, I have moved five times in the last eleven years. All of those moves have been really helpful to me. For example, moving has taught me how to easily cope with changes like switching houses and making new friends.

The experiences that military kids have give us advantages that don't seem like advantages to non-military kids, like flexibility. Flexibility is important to learn as a child because it helps you cope as an adult. I have learned to love moving because it is something I do every two or three years. For instance, when I moved from Maryland to Sicily, Italy, I was excited to move to somewhere exotic. Plus, I kept in touch with my old friends until I found new ones.

Moving, as I mentioned before, is part of being in the military. It is fun sometimes, but the ups and downs are tremendous. I write this essay in hopes that it will help other kids in the military. I personally think moving is exciting after all the boxes are gone. It quickly becomes a piece of cake and a stroll down Easy Lane with a picnic basket full of fun in your hand.

Though the military is tough, it is part of your life. Just think of all the advantages you have over other kids! You have everything better off than them. You can use your vast knowledge to help! When it all comes down to it, the military life is the choice I would choose to have as a kid. You get to see new places and other new things! The military life lives through thick and thin. So go and get those new experiences!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guest Blog Post for Memorial Day

On Memorial Day I had the privilege of being a guest blogger on While Victoria is not a military kid, she is an avid supporter of our military members and their families. Victoria is an amazing and talented 15-year-old young woman. I recommend her blog to teens and tweens!


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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