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Impactful Childhood Experience Of Mine

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From a very young age, military children go through situations that put a great amount of stress on them. When I realized my life was different from all the other kids around me, my mindset was impacted forever. As a child, it was difficult to deal with deployment, constantly changing homes, and not keeping the same people in my life. It is no question that growing up as a military child teaches life lessons that prepare you for adulthood.

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A child cannot be protected from all that is bad. Even though anyone who signed up to be in the military knows what they signed up for, a child may not know as much. My father was deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from February 2004 to August 2004 and from April 2007 to June 2008. During periods of deployment, there were mixed feelings of anger, confusion, sadness and anxiousness. All I knew was that he was gone for a long amount of time with limited access to communication. People seem to think that once a service member is back home the family pieces back together like a puzzle, but the return home is the toughest part of the whole deployment process.

Constantly changing homes could be amazing or it could be dreadful. The excitement of experiencing new places, new weather, and new sights is indescribable. The memories one never forgets such as birthdays, holidays, school plays, recitals and sports make up an important part of every child’s life. These events are much more special when those you love can celebrate with you. It was tough not knowing where I would spend my next special day and/or not knowing who I would spend it with whether it be with family or friends I make along the way. This taught me that no matter how much I would plan and prepare, plans change when duty calls. One of the most important goals of the American family is stability and security. As a child, every time I moved it meant I would have to get used to a whole new atmosphere of people and places. This gave me the ability to put trivial matters and people aside. I learned to have the mentality that every friendship/relationship was not long-term and I could end it whenever I am ready to. That attitude taught me to put my emotions to the side when leaving people I cared for. Luckily, this perspective now serves me well as an adult as I do not grow emotional ties to what is not necessary in my life. Moving from and to homes, schools and friends is a major life event that most people around the world never get to experience.

The ultimate childhood lesson I learned is to bloom where I am planted; there is an adventure everywhere. Instead of being saddened of all I would leave behind, I learned to approach what I am gaining rather than what I lost. Embracing each challenging situation was a rollercoaster but I am grateful of all I was taught.

03 December 2019

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