Thursday, July 25, 2013

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

The fun night started out with a silent auction. There were many items up for bidding. There was anything from a family fun day to a spa resort package. Next came the dinner. It was a three course meal. After dinner was the live auction. My items consisted of a private concert for six by a professional recording artist. He happily donated his service after experiencing a family member live with cancer. 

Helping your community is not only good for it, 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. 

In 2008 I raised over two thousand dollars for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I would encourage everybody, military child or not to find a cause they like and fully support it. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is just one of the many organizations you could join. Helping makes you a better person. If you join a cause, be prepared to fully join it. Do not start and quit in the middle. It is a task that can take up a lot of your spare time. I think it is worth it, though, because it is fun and hard work. You want to put forth your best effort with the intent of helping others. A wonderful bonus is that you might win a prize! Really it gives you a very good satisfaction that you did something good for your community. My favorite part about helping the community is the feeling that you get knowing you have helped the community to improve for the better. 

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a society that raises money to help find the cure for all different types of blood cancer. Some of their fundraising techniques include an annual walk and an auction. They are both very successful. They also offer team in training where they raise money, but the volunteers that participate get trained by others that help them to run a marathon. Other organizations like the American Red Cross are great, too. They help people in need. 

Helping your community is a great thing to do. It will always make you feel good about yourself when you finish. Any fundraiser is a fantastic way to help out. Anyone can help. As a military child, giving back is just one trait that I have. I am very proud of it. I want to help my community and world. By serving your community, you could save someone's life. I consider helping my community an honor. My parents have taught me to do the best that I can in everything I attempt. One of those things is helping my community. 

The world can be a better place just by doing one small thing. You do not have to do many great big giant things, you can do one small little thing and you 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. You might have to listen to other people, so be prepared to obey people older and younger than you. 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. This is where the suggestions of others helps. Their personal experiences can come in extremely handy. It doesn't matter your color, height, weight, age, history, or anything else. You can help!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


By Mairin H., Age 16

I have been to eighteen of the fifty states. I have ridden the Metro in Washington D.C., the subway in Paris, and the Tube in London. I'm a pro at traveling on airplanes. was born in Tacoma, Washington, I currently live in Heidelberg, Germany, but I call Rochester, New York my home. I have moved eight times in my sixteen-year life. I have suffered through two deployments and rejoiced when my dad returned. In short, I am an Army brat. 

"Home is where the Army sends you." That phrase is a favorite among military family members. It sarcastically captures the main feature of an Army family's lifestyle-constant moving from place to place, sometimes with less than six months' warning. Moving is an unfortunate and unavoidable aspect of a military kid's life. My family and I PCS-that's an Army acronym for Permanent Change of Station, the official name for relocation-about every two years; whenever it's time for my dad to have a new job, it's time for us to pack up and go. I've moved so many times, I have it down to a science-my parents have barely told me the news before I've carefully wrapped and packed my favorite belongings. (You can never trust the movers to treat your fragile possessions with the care they deserve. I've learned that the hard way.) Also necessary is the skill of packing as many clothes as possible into one suitcase. Household goods don't always arrive on time, and it's never pleasant to be stuck wearing the same clothes for a month. Over the years, I've cultivated these necessary skills-moving is almost second nature to me. 

Packing and shipping stuff is easy; unpacking and decorating my new room can even be fun. However, the emotional aspect of moving is not simple, and I will never get that down to a science. Leaving friends behind and starting over in an unfamiliar, and therefore uncomfortable environment is never, ever fun. When I'm new somewhere, all I can think about is how much I miss myoid school and myoid friends, and I wish with all my heart I could be back in myoid neighborhood. Before a move, I try to prepare myself by thinking of how great our new house will be, and how much fun I'll have exploring a new city. Before we came to Germany, I tried to convince myself that I would have so much fun traveling around Europe that I would never miss Virginia. It never works. The first few weeks, or sometimes months, after a move are awful. When I'm new and I have no one to talk to and no one to hang out with, I just feel absolutely, unbearably lonely, and it's a terrible feeling. When it's really bad, I'll even stop emailing or calling my old friends, because the pain of remembering how happy I was in the old place makes the new place seem a whole lot worse. 

The lonely phase doesn't last, though; eventually, I meet some people and make new friends, and then I catch up with my old friends, and the whole world seems so much better. Facebook is a huge friendship-preserver. While it's not the same as face-to-face contact, I can stay connected with all my friends no matter where they are - depending or the time difference between us, we can chat online. I still miss my old friends from time to time, no matter how many new friends I have. There's no solution for times like those. But I think of how lucky I am to have met so many people all over the world, and that makes me feel slightly better. 

I've learned many things living as an Army brat. But, above all else, the Army has taught me how to prioritize. Stuff, I have realized, does not matter. Stuff breaks or gets lost during a move. People matter. I may have lost some favorite belongings while moving but I will always have my family, and that is all I really need. Separating from my friends and leaving everything behind is hard, life-shattering even, but my family is always there for me during every single move, whether I realize and appreciate it or not. Sometimes, all I want is to live in one place forever and never move. Sometimes the nature of our lifestyle makes me very unhappy. But one of the happiest moments of my life was when my dad returned from a deployment in Iraq. When I saw my dad, safe and sound and back home with us, I didn't care where we were living or where we might be moving. I would move every six months if it kept my dad safe and my family all together. 

When people find out my dad's in the military, they sometimes thank me for my service. My first thought is always, "Don't thank me-my dad's the one that serves our country, not me." But I have realized that I do serve my country, in a way. I support my dad as best I can. I put up with being a military kid, through the good and the bad. (Traveling all around Europe is pretty fantastic, despite everything else.) I know my dad has an important job, and the safety of our country is worth the sacrifice. 

I will not go to the same high school for four years, as much as I want to. But, I would rather live in a safe country than graduate with my friends. At least I can know that my friends are living in a safe country, too.


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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