Every month has a dozen Causes and every Cause has a month. This month is The Month of the Military Child. I have three of those. (kids, not months)
I don’t want you to feel sorry for my kids and their friends. Pity is absolutely unwarranted. I’m also not going to compare my kids to your kids, as they’d be different anyway, what with being different people, and all. But I’ll tell you some things about my kids that might make you think a little more about The Cause of the Month.
**My kids are just kids. They don’t walk around in miniature PT shirts or salute their Dad when he gets home from duty. They don’t have high and tight haircuts, their rooms are a mess, and I have to jump through hoops to get them to do their homework.
**My kids know the value of time.. They know how special it is that they can see their father at the end of the day and they know that not seeing him for a week of field exercises isn’t a big deal. A week isn’t a big deal. A month is a bummer. A deployment will suck, but is manageable. An afternoon at the park with Dad?…priceless.
**My kids know about death. As the children of soldiers, they have friends who’ve lost a parent on the battlefield. They’ve made sympathy cards in art class. Please don’t speak in platitudes or euphemisms around my kids. They’ll feel sorry for you and think you don’t know any better. They know that Daddy may not come home when he goes Over There, but…
**My kids have faith in God beyond their years. They know that Jesus is their best and truest friend. They know they can count on Him. They know if Something Happens, there will be a reason; but they have faith that Daddy will come home and they praise God all the way to Green Ramp.
Military kids can make quick friends and tell 24hour time. They know all the acronyms (PT, PFT, ACU, HRC, NCO, OIC) and the biggest one of all is…
**My kids aren’t afraid to PCS. (that’s moving to civilians). They don’t particularly like it, but they aren’t scared. They know the boxes and movers will come, they know their stuff will be show up in the new place eventually, and they know they’ll be making new friends. They know how to pack their Bag of Special Stuff that the movers don’t get. My kids are excellent road trippers.
**My kids are respectful of the Flag, of old veterans, of Memorial Stones, of Wounded Warriors, of Generals, of Retreat and Taps, and military spouses, and other kids, and of Command Sergeants Major because they get it and can comprehend the hard work and sacrifice behind every single one of those things. Their best friends’ dad is a firefighter…those kids get it, too.
My kids aren’t better than your kids, they may not be tougher or smarter. They aren’t more special than your kids. They are special, though. They’ve said good bye to friends, family, their dad, and their homes. Rejoice for them, however, because they’ve said hello to new friends and adventures. Most importantly, they’ve hugged their Dad and they know what a big deal that is.