Strength, Resiliency, and Adaptability April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, a time to recognize, honor, and celebrate the incredible resilience and sacrifices of military children.
This annual observance aims to highlight their strength, adaptability, and the important role they play in their military families. 🇺🇸 As a daughter of a military service member, who served 2 tours in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple Heart, I was known as a ‘Military Brat’ or ‘Army Brat’ in ‘the day’. 🪖
Here is how I came to embrace the word BRAT:
B – Brave
R – Resilient
A – Adaptable
T – Transformational
Now as the spouse of a retired Army Officer (25 years served), and mom who is raising two daughters who have had to navigate military life and deployments, I am more than thrilled to embrace and celebrate the Month of the Military Child. I know first-hand the tremendous courage and adaptability it takes, often at a very young age to explore the unique experiences of being a military child; navigate the unpredictable and evolving challenges and embrace the valuable lessons that these experiences teach us about resiliency and adaptability. What is life like for a military child?
🌎The Life of a Military Child: Embracing Change
Frequent relocations: Military children often move multiple times throughout their childhood, often with very little notice, as their families are reassigned to new bases or duty stations. These transitions involve leaving behind friends, schools, and familiar surroundings, requiring military children to continually adapt to new environments.
Despite these challenges, military children demonstrate a remarkable ability to adjust and thrive in diverse circumstances. These experiences shape their character, helping them develop resilience and adaptability at a young age.
🏫School transitions: With each relocation, military children must adjust to a new school systems, curriculums, and social circles. While many schools near military bases are accustomed to these transitions, it is still challenging for the students to adapt to the different academic expectations and social dynamics.
📬Parental separations: Military children experience long periods of separation from their parents due to deployments, training, or temporary duty assignments. These separations can lead to stress and anxiety, as the children must adjust to living with one parent or in some cases, with an extended family member or caretaker.
✈️The Impact of Deployments: 🌎 Deployments can be a challenging time for military families, as service members are separated from their loved ones for extended periods. Military children often step up to the plate, taking on additional responsibilities and filling the void left by their deployed parent. They learn to cope with the uncertainty of their parent's safety, displaying courage and strength beyond their years.
👏Support Systems: The Military Community One of the most significant aspects of being a military child is the sense of belonging to a larger military community. Military installations often provide numerous resources and activities for families, fostering a supportive environment. Additionally, military children often form deep friendships with their peers, who share similar experiences and challenges.
🎉Celebrating Military Children: During the Month of the Military Child, we celebrate the sacrifices and resilience of military children.
There are many ways to show support and appreciation: 💜Wear purple: Purple Up! is a nationwide campaign that encourages people to wear purple in support of military children. Wearing purple signifies the unity of all branches of the military, representing the combination of Army green, Air Force blue, Coast Guard blue, Marine red, and Navy blue.
Participate in local events: Many military installations and local communities host special events, such as parades, family fun days, and workshops, to celebrate military children. Show your support by attending these events and acknowledging their unique experiences.
Share their stories: Amplify the voices of military children by sharing their stories on social media, in your local community, or in your personal circles. Highlighting their experiences fosters understanding and appreciation for their sacrifices.
🤝Offer support: Extend a helping hand to military families in your community, whether it's through providing childcare, helping with schoolwork, or simply offering a listening ear. As we celebrate the Month of the Military Child, let's take a moment to reflect on the valuable lessons these young heroes can teach us about resilience, adaptability, and strength. By embracing change and facing challenges with courage, they remind us of our own capacity to grow and thrive in the face of adversity.
➡️If you are a military child (brat) or are raising a military child, I’d love for you to share a moment about the biggest challenge you have overcome either as a child or as a parent of military children.
Championing your success always!