Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Life as a Military Kid, By Kaylee Holland, Age 12

My life as a military kid has been difficult. Ever since I can remember, our family has been moving around the world. One of the hardest difficulties has been making new friends at a new base. My cousins live in Hastings, Nebraska, and have since they were three years old. They don't have the same challenges as a military kid does at meeting new friends.

Although it has been a hard life, it has been an adventurous life as well. Here are some of the experiences I have been through as a military kid. When I was a baby about two years old, my parents and I were stationed in Korea. While we were there, I was a model for Elle magazine and I made the cover of the magazine. My cousins will never have that opportunity of modeling in Korea. That is just one opportunity that military kids have.

Now let me take you on some of my experiences at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. My other cousins also lived in South Dakota, so they had the opportunity to go to the same school since their mom is in the military. Avery, the youngest of the cousins, was in the same grade as me, so she was in my preschool classroom. We lived in South Dakota for four years. While I was in South Dakota, I met a girl named Maddie Sinks. She is still one of my good friends today. From that I have learned that when I move from base to base, I am able to keep in contact with all of my good friends.

Our next journey is to a wonderful place called Whiteman Air Force Base Missouri. Missouri has been my most favorite base I have been to, since that was where my brother and I were born. We lived in Missouri for almost six years. While we were there we found out that my dad had to deploy to Iraq. Our family was devastated because we were not going to see him for about four months. Imagine having one of your family members not there to tuck you in at night or to be there to help you out of your problems that the other parent does not understand. It is the worst feeling a military kid could have. While he was away, my mom and I talked to him on the phone and on the webcam, but it was not the same as talking to him one on one. Before my dad left, we found out that my mom was pregnant with a baby boy. We were all excited, especially me, because I was an only child for nine years. Four months later, my mom and I went to get my dad from the airport. That was the best feeling knowing that my dad was home safe and sound. Thank goodness that he wasn't hurt or injured. On account of my dad's deployment, I am more responsible because I had to take care of my mom. I had to make sure she had healthy food and that she got enough exercise.

Not too long after my dad got back from Iraq, we got orders to Sigonella, Italy. I will never forget the day that all of the movers came to pack up all our stuff. We were all nervous and sad to leave all of our family and friends and move across the world. It took us two days when we missed our plane and lost our entire luggage in Chicago. Then finally, we got to Italy. When I first got to Italy, it was very different culture. I came from homemade fried chicken to pizza and pastas. When I got here, it was the summer of 2009. I tried to get involved in some activities here so I could meet some friends before school started in September. When school finally started, I was nervous because I only knew about seven people. Being a military kid is very difficult sometimes, but it has its advantages too, like not very many people get to say they have lived in Italy. All of my life I have lived on a base surrounded by a fence and a lot of gate guards. When my dad retires, I will no longer be a military kid, but I can say I once was a military kid that lived all around the world.

About Kaylee Holland

Kaylee Holland was born in Warrensburg, Missouri, on a Saturday. She is currently living in Sigonella, Italy and her father is in the United States Air Force. Kaylee has moved all around the world her whole life. She has two wonderful parents that love her dearly. She also has a cute baby brother who is two years old. She was an only child for nine years, but is now thankful to have a brother.

Kaylee is twelve years old and in the sixth grade. She has lived in Italy for seven months, but can't wait to move back to the USA. Kaylee has great friends and will be sad to leave them in three years. She is a very strong Christian and serves the Lord with all her heart. She goes to youth group every Wednesday night and learns more about His word.

Kaylee has always been tall for her age. That has helped her in sports and in other activities. Some of her favorite things to do are hanging out with her family, reading good books, and running track. Kaylee won her first track meet at the age of seven. She continued to be in the yearly track meets where she took first in every event that she competed in. She is praying that someday she will be in the track Olympics and win many gold metals.

Friday, March 18, 2011

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.

About Junavy Frianeza

How could you describe this military girl? You would start with the fact that Junavy Frianeza has a creative mind. She likes to sit in her room and listen to music depending on her mood. Junavy might listen to rock music, pop music, or even country music if she wants to.

Reading is one of Junavy's favorite things to do. This bookworm reads from all kinds of genres whether it be fantasy, adventure, science fiction, even nonfiction, which she tends to stay away from. Her favorite books of all time, so far, would have to be the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, which she has re-read a couple times. This imaginative girl can sometimes be spotted inventing her own random story.

She has lived in Japan, Washington State, and currently lives in Sigonella, Italy. Junavy goes to school at Sigonella MS/HS as a seventh grader and likes hanging out with her friends. She also likes ... chocolate! When Junavy grows up, she plans to make a difference in the world, like her dad, and be in the Navy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Military Child, By Beatrice Greeson, Age 12

As a military child, I believe I have a broader perspective than most children my age. Here in Europe, I've been to many places including Paris, Rome, London, and Venice. I've had experiences that many other kids won't have for a while or might never have; such as seeing Da Vinci's Mona Lisa in person or applying the Italian learned in school and using it the next day in the boisterous food markets to buy fish, bread, and fruit. There are many benefits to being a Navy kid, and some of these benefits are that we are all very close and our experiences prepare us to be successful in the world. Being a military child is hard sometimes, but it has made me a better person.

Naturally, I'm an introvert. I'm usually only my talkative self when I'm around people I know really well. At the Naval base in Sicily, Italy—where I live now—one third of the population moves per year. This means I meet loads of people. It makes me have to work really hard at being more outgoing. Ever since second grade, I have wanted to be a political leader of some kind. Being outgoing is definitely a trait that a politician—or leader of any kind—should have. I try to be a leader in as many ways as I can; at school, in swim team, and during church. I think this helps prepare me to be a leader because as a leader, whether you are the President of the United States or a Red Cross volunteer, you will probably have to go outside of your comfort zone.

Take former Secretary of State Madeline Albright as an example. She learned how to hold onto herself even when she was uncomfortable. That is a very important quality in a leader. Leaders should not be phony, but themselves, or as much as themselves they can be in public.

Being in a military community brings people closer together. I had a friend who was sick and in the hospital. Of course, her best friends and family were concerned, but people who she had talked to all of twice would come up and make sure she was okay and give her flowers. This proves that living on a base is like living with your whole extended family. They all care about you, and especially overseas in Sigonella, where there aren't that many people, they all know you, at least by sight. When I was in Kindergarten and first grade, and my dad was deployed to Iraq, my teachers were really supportive and knew how I was feeling. When my friend's dad was deployed, the base gave their family a packet with things like vouchers to the bowling alley in it.

If you compare me to the average American kid, I have a huge advantage as a Navy dependent. I have so many benefits. Military children are much more outgoing, because we have to move every couple of years, and always meet new people. This prepares us for the outside world. Also, we have strong ties with our peers. People in the military are very close because we have all been in similar situations to each other. There are only a couple of hard aspects, such as facing people with stereotypes against us. My message is this: being a military child is hard, but it is definitely worth it.

About Beatrice Greeson

Beatrice Greeson is currently living at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily with her mother, father, brother and two hateful cats, Tinkerbell and Stella. She loves to read and swim, preferably at the same time. This avid reader devours just about anything she can get her eyes on. Beatrice spends too much time swimming for the base swim team, which competes all over Europe. She has traveled to many different countries and cities in Europe. Her favorite location across the pond is London, England, where she has been spotted exploring everything from cool vintage shops to plays at the Bard's Theater. Beatrice loves fresh white bread and potatoes of any kind (baked, mashed, sweet with marshmallows). Her favorite color is teal, especially when it is accented with gold. Reluctantly playing the clarinet for the past two years, Beatrice would kill to play the oboe. This petite military chick can be found in her cluttered room singing or writing stories and poems for an anthology of her writings she plans to publish.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Helping Hands = Making a Difference, By Lauren Anderson, 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 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, auction items, and do different types of fundraisers. As a result of all my hard work I put into the fund raiser, I went to a dinner at the Skirvin Hotel and was able to take my friends and individuals that have made a difference in my life. These people included my three closest friends, my Mom, 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 and was very neat. My Dad was not able to make it due to being stationed at Fort Leavenworth for a school that he had to complete for the Army.

Helping your community is not only good for everyone involved, 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, too.

In 2008, I raised over two thousand dollars for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I would encourage everybody, military children or not, to find a cause they like and fully support it. Helping makes you a better person.

If you join a cause, be prepared to fully participate. Do not start and quit in the middle. It is a task that can take up a lot of your spare time. You want to put forth your best effort with the intent of helping others. It gives you satisfaction that you did something good for your community. My favorite part about helping the community is the feeling that you have helped to improve it for the better.

As a military child, giving back is just one trait that I have and am very proud of it. By serving your community, you could save someone's life and I consider that an honor. The world can be a better place just by doing one small thing. You do not have to do many great big things, but you can do one small act of kindness and 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. 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. It doesn't matter your color, height, weight, age, history, or anything else. You can help!

About Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson was born May 8, 1998 in Bambergl Germany. Her father is a US Army Field Artillery Officer and her mother is a stay-at-home mom. She is the oldest of three girls. Lauren is an athlete having competed in gymnastics, played soccer, as well as currently playing competitive basketball. Her team traveled to Walt Disney World in the summer of 2009 for the AAU National Championship where they placed 13th. Lauren has also received the "Best Team Player” award from Oklahoma Christian University’s basketball Cage Camp.

Lauren excels in her academic studies, having always had a straight A average. Lauren received the Presidential Award for academic excellence as well as being nominated for the Masonic Award. Lauren is currently in sixth grade and serves on her student council at school.

Lauren’s faith is very important to her. She enjoys attending church regularly as well as the many activities that her youth group does. Lauren hopes to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study chemistry.


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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