Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Happiness, Pain and Tears, By Natalie Herrera, Age 13

"The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." These words were spoken by a Chinese philosopher named Lao Tzu. The life of military children is hard in many ways, but as life goes on, one realizes that this is the life that they were born into and that this lifestyle will benefit them in many ways. This journey will include happiness, pain, and tears. These thousand miles can be the highlight of their lives. The most important way to tackle the journey is to take it one day at a time.

The love and happiness in a military family is so pleasant that I wish it could last forever. Whenever my military parent is coming home and has not been home in a long time, all I have to do is hear the words, "I am coming home today.” This feels like a great relief. It is such a beautiful feeling because I get to see the parent that I love so much. Another beautiful feeling is when I get to go out with my family and just have fun without worries. The joy of being in a military family shines when that military parent takes a vacation. Then they are 110 percent at home where I can play a game without worrying that it will be interrupted by a phone call or an email.

The best part about being in a military family is that I get so many amazing opportunities. For example, I get to go to a special school for military students only. This way I can interact with different kids who experience the same thing I do. It makes me feel that I am not alone in this journey.

But then devastating news comes up and takes away all that happiness and love. When I hear that a parent is going to be deployed to Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Kosovo, or any other country around the world, emotions begin rushing throughout my body. During the time that I am without my parent that I love so dearly, I have to be brave and try to keep telling myself that he will be back soon. Also, another very painful thing to endure is when your parent is deployed again to another country.

One way of trying to cope with all the feelings going on is to just find a group of friends that you can relate to and go out from time to time and just have fun. One way to do this is to go to the movies once a month, go to the bowling alley, or have a sleepover. It is basically any social activity that will get your mind off all the other stuff happening so you can enjoy yourself. This will bring out the happiness you have stored away and make you want to have fun even if you know that your military parent is away.

The role of a military child is fairly simple even though it can be hard at times. All you really have to do as a military child is to have fun with the times you get to see your military parent. Have fun with your friends. Study hard to get a good career in life. Take responsibility when your parent is away. But most important of all, make your family proud. It takes a lot of guts to come up and be the person in the house which people will rely on to clean the house, cut the grass, cook dinner and so forth.

To be a military child is scary, but living day by day will take you on a tremendous journey. On that path you will be proud to say, "I am a military child and I am proud to be one.” That journey of a thousand miles will slowly fade into a path and then fade into the nothingness. Don't worry about what is ahead in life. Look at what is right in front of your face and go with the flow of the road that is taking you through life.

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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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