Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life as a Military Child, By Payton Buss, Age 11

There are many places with many different qualities that can be alike or different, but no place is exactly the same. America is extremely unique. So unique, that it has formed its own defense system called the military. Many countries have allied with the country. So, the U.S. has asked if they may send some of their people to the places that they will accept for the Americans to live. Now many people respect and live for their country. The influence it had on their children made them want to join, too. For doing that, the citizens of the U.S.A. give them their respect.

The first place I ever lived (where I was born), was Washington state. I'd love to tell you about it, but the thing is that I can't really remember it. The reason behind that is because we moved before I even turned one year old! What I can gather, though, is that I was born there when my sister was practically three years old. I lived on an island, and that's it. Not much. After that, I can remember a little of the other places.

Next, we lived in Iowa. We stayed there until I was five and my sister was eight years old. Our dog, Snooter, is a white Westie. She was a lot of fun to be around, but we had to keep her on a leash outside, because we didn't have a fence. We were very close to my father’s family. I used to think that the drive to my grandparent's house was super long. My favorite tree was the old weeping willow with the long leaves and the way the bark twisted around each other. For my backyard, we didn't have a pool, we had a playground, and not just a playground, but a built in playground. In the winter, when it snowed, we'd climb up the little hill that separated us from our neighbors dragging our sleds and speed down the hill. Mom drove me to preschool and then went off to dental school, while my sister rode the bus. I was jealous because I wanted to ride the bus like "all" the kids did (my preschool didn't have a bus, I'm referring to Big kids). Then after I had a happy five years in Iowa, it had to end all too soon.

We then move to Camarillo, California—a place five hours north of San-Diego, very sunny. I absolutely loved Camarillo. There was nothing not to love. I remember my best friend, Jessica Mertez. She lived right next door and was pretty sporty so I didn't see her very often, though we did have lots of fun. The other friend on my block was Jeffery Westover. He told me scary stories until I was afraid of the dark, but otherwise he was a good friend.

We had a really big house. It had enough rooms for us to have our own rooms and a guest room! We had a decent-sized kitchen, along with a pool. The pool was positioned right below the hot-tub and, from the pool, the outside of the hot-tub had little¬ rocks. Once a duck tried to nest in our pool, but dad scared it out. Jessica was the only one who let the duck stay in, so the duck produced ducklings! You haven't heard everything, the duck and her family lived right in her pool! They died though; you can't expect them to survive when they're diving in a pool. Anyway, it's time you see the next destination.

This time it's only five hours south, San-Diego. Mom and I always walked to a nice little shopping center for our Saturday breakfast. The best part about where we lived was that we were approximately five minutes away from Sea World. Oh, and be sure to get wet on the two rides. My school was Creekside Elementary School, part of the Poway district, but was actually in San-Diego. That's where I had the best teacher ever! Mr. Parker. We were Parker’s pupils. If I had got him in fourth grade, he wouldn't have been the best teacher ever. Best teachers ever are reserved for third grade. I seriously suggest that Mr. Thomson teach third grade, then he could be a best teacher ever. I came here over-prepared for fifth grade. Now, All Aboard!

I am now in Okinawa, Japan. I am enjoying my time here as much as I would anyplace. The Japanese are very nice, courteous, and caring. I know that myself because my nanny is Japanese. I spend so much time on base, sometimes I forget I'm in Japan. This is my first time overseas, and I thought it was going to be like any other move, any other place, but I was dead wrong. In Japan, people aren't impolite, and the move was much more stressful, box-filled, and complicated than any other move that happened to me. I didn't like the way we had to wait to get onto a plane to San Francisco, to get to Tokyo. I hope you enjoyed learning about my life.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Moving, By Tyler Mosley, Age 11

When I found out we were moving, the pressure was on for me. It was hard enough just to tell my friends that I was leaving. It was even harder just to tell my best friend.

I was extremely sad in many ways. What made me even more sad was that I could only bring a little amount of my stuff on the plane. We gave most of our belongings to our relatives. Then, when the sign was put up for our house to be sold, we left for the airport.

When we left the house, it broke my heart to leave my friends and family behind. The way it broke my heart was that I had played with all my friends since I was just two years old.

Just to get to the airport was about two hours long because of the traffic. As we drove to the parking lot, there were many cars parked outside the airport. Most of them were mini vans and regular sized vans. As I went into the airport, it felt like the world was smaller because of how many people were at the airport. Many people spoke of where they were going or where they came from. People spoke different languages, which was weird to me because I only knew English back then. What I thought was even weirder was when I tried to talk like the other people, I would get tongue twisters or it would tickle my lips. I tried to speak like the other people who did not speak English. Standing in line, I said my last good-byes in person to my relatives. As we got on the plane, I sat right next to the window to wave to my relatives getting into their car, but unfortunately for me they didn't wave back. The plane was crowded with many people and the only thing that satisfied me was that I got to sit next to the window and my family. To me, it was boring on the plane. I tried my best at entertaining myself. I looked out the window and thought about the animals and plants and what they look like from the air. After what felt like an hour, but was really only thirty minutes, I got bored again. I got up to stretch my legs and other body parts, and then I sat on the chair and went to sleep.

As soon as I fell asleep, they announced that we had arrived at Tokyo, which got me pretty mad because I was tired. As we got off our plane, they checked our passports and stamped them. When we were inside the airport in Tokyo, we did the same thing we did before—just sit and wait for our plane. My parents thought that I would ask if we could see the sites or see the shops, but I was too sleepy to even move. So I went to go sit next to the window where the planes took off.

Ten minutes into watching the planes taking off, I fell asleep. I snoozed for an hour. I could have slept even longer, but we had to get in line to go to Okinawa. We were served food on the plane to Okinawa. I only ate a little amount of food because I was sleepy. The ride was at least three or four hours long.

When we got to Okinawa, I felt like a cheetah running at one hundred miles per hour, but somehow I still felt sad inside. I tried to forget about the past, but it was almost too hard. I tried my best to forget about it. We went to get our bags and I saw many different faces and people. I felt very weird. I tried my best to blend in, but the more I tried, the more I felt weird.

When we got out of the airport, it felt like a totally different world to me. As we got outside, I saw some words. They were hard to read, but I found out how to say them. They were pronounced "Naha Airport.” After that, we got a cab to go down south of the island. There were many new things that I had never seen before. We got a room in a hotel on Camp Foster. The room was just the right size for me. When I got off base to see some of the Japanese culture, I met some Japanese children and American children just my age. That made it easier to live there and let go of the past. I will always remember my friends and family members in America by heart. I was happy to be living in Okinawa. I'm still happy living in Okinawa to this day, but I will never forget about my homeland, America!

Sunday, November 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!


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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