Friday, October 1, 2010

Military Kid, By Alyssa Weeks, Age 11

I was born into a family with two military parents. My mother is a gunnery sergeant and my father is a first sergeant. When people see my parents in their uniforms, you can tell that they think to themselves, "That person is doing their part for this country." But, when I see my parents in uniform it scares me because it reminds me that deployment is still a threat. The last time my dad got deployed was his second time to Iraq. I know it sounds like a little bit of time, but when it happens to you it seems like forever. We dropped him off and it seemed very dry. It was on a base next to a barracks. There was a bus parked on the grass, and families with small children. I felt kind of bad for them. I was older and thought I knew how to handle it. My older sister wore dark glasses over her eyes so my dad couldn't see her emotions, but unlike her, I did not hide it. I would miss my dad. But the biggest thing I would miss would be having the entire family eating dinner together laughing and telling each other stories about what happened that day.

When you are a military kid, you have certain responsibilities to help the parent that is not deployed. One is to try not to cry when you talk to the parent that is deployed. You have to remember to be strong because when you're sad, the deployed parent becomes sad. Take care of all your siblings even though sometimes they aren't the nicest people. One very important one; Listen to your parent. If he or she tells you to do something, you do it. Just try not to get them mad or sad. They are already stressed with things like paying bills on their own or being both mother and father. The days are quiet when a parent is deployed.

Deployments are hard so it is always nice to have someone to talk to. Now everyone knows that there is a very slim chance of a kid talking to the parents about the pain. Usually the child finds a really trustworthy friend and talks to them about the situation. No one wants their friends to see them crying, because most kids think that crying shows weakness. So it is really hard to find a friend to talk to. Every single child talks about this. It is just like a way of life growing up in a military family. When a parent is deployed, some kids hide their emotions by finding a hobby and working on it a lot. Thinking about something else helps with the pain.

When a parent gets orders, it may seem like it is the end of the world, but a good theory is to learn more about the place you are going (like the schools and neighborhoods). It helps get you excited about the move. Talk about decorating your room, because that is what got me excited. Learn about the weather and at least one exciting thing about the new place, like if the weather is sunny and hot, or the beach activities.

When you get to your new place, you will probably have to stay in a hotel for a little bit. When my family was in a hotel, we stopped by the house to check it out. When I saw my new room, I just thought about where everything was going to go. When we went to the store to buy cleaning supplies, toothpaste and food, it helped to pick out some of my favorite things. I loved throwing things in the basket for my room and then getting home and setting everything up.

I was born on Okinawa and have been living overseas for two years now. We have settled in. We all have friends and are happy with our lives. Living overseas is different from living in the States. For example, some places don't have a Walmart, which is terribly sad considering that every single human being gets their stuff from Walmart. Living overseas does have its advantages like you can explore and see what is near your new home.

Even though living in a military family can be hard, you still have a family that loves you. Your family is special, because of what you all do for the United States. And even when it can be sad or challenging, we should enjoy the opportunities to do and see new things because it will not last forever.

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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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