Clearly, I’ve been talking about the National Military Family Association a lot. And our recent trip to New York for the Veterans Day sealed the deal–military kids are awesome. Both girls had the privilege to walk with dozens of military families representing our Association in America’s Parade. Our message was so powerful that even a 4-year-old heard it loud and clear. It’s cool to be part of a military family!
But are we a military family?
My older daughter, Lira, was born when my husband was an active duty Marine—so she was definitely a military kid. But is she now? And what about Zana? Does being the child of a veteran count?
I thought about the poem written and recited by military kid Laura Marin at our Veterans Day reception:
“I’m an unrooted child. My life is mostly in brown boxes.”
“I’m leaving behind all that is familiar, again. I’m facing the unknown one more time.”
None of this describes my kids’ lives. We’ve lived in the same house, since transitioning out of the military, with no plans of moving. They don’t have to deal with deployments and separations. They don’t have to change schools or constantly make new friends. But they do have that military kid spirit.
They are proud. They are resilient, and even though one of my daughters wasn’t born and the other can barely remember when Dave was in the military—they are military kids.
They are growing up with a love of country. They respect and honor service. And like many veteran kids—they have to deal with the after-effects of military life . Dave was medically separated after having his spine fused (among other injuries), and can’t physically do what he once could. Going for a run isn’t an option, but he’ll ignore the pain and hold the girls on his shoulders when we go for a walk.
So Zana, yes. We are a military family. And we share this sentiment, also from Laura’s poem:
“Sleep peacefully in your beds at night United States of America. My family and I got your back.”
Do you think kids of veterans are still military kids? Let us know your thoughts!