When people ask military children where they’re from, normally the answer is “everywhere”. And while the first song, other than the National Anthem, become the first song military children grow up with, so are the cadence calls that linger outside the base as part of their wakeup call. Not normally the case for regular students at school they attend, military children seem to know every state, including the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Exchange Service store “snack bar menus” because of the constant bowling trips taken there every after-school years on end.
What’s more is the constant “ma’am” or “sir” replies and the constant requests by non-military friends overseas asking for your APO/FPO address stating they’ll mail you something from there. This is the life of a military brat; one of the toughest occupations a young person has to endure when his/her parent serve their country.
Military children: the challenges
Military children face emotional stress and greater challenges because of relocating constantly. The emotional stress can lead them into emotional turmoil because of the challenges from one city to another, state to state.
According to the Department of Defense, since 2011, there are over 2 million children in the United States that are considered “military brats” and yet, not too bratty when it comes to their academics. Since they move constantly, it is tough for them–more so–because of the challenges they face from relocating from school to school. Often at times it’s during their school year.
In addition, they typically can go through several, if not more, schools before they receive their high school diploma. What’s more is the fact that they lose valuable friends they make while at the schools they are enrolled in. Military parents feel the same way in the United States and when they are sent overseas.
While moving constantly, try every two years to be approximate, can come with numerous problems. When it comes to relocating, it does bring tears to millions because of the transitions. Not only do they have to endure the temporary loss, sometimes permanent, of relocating to a new education system, they also have deal with issues such as the emotional distress that comes with being a child or teen.
Issues like this are faced when a parent isn’t around or absent for long periods of time. Due to being stationed overseas, it has to be tough for families, especially when the active duty parent has to go overseas or be deployed to a dangerous destination.
Military brats also face their own “personal war” because of the friends they make and then have to “break.” In other words, the physical and emotional ties they have with them are now bound to social media. In fact, the relocations now become their fight to keep their relationships because of their losses with friends at the school they were currently attending.
Transient is tough
Finally, it’s a fact that most “transient” populations are the military families. Growing up military can lead to high mobility and with the “engagement, disengagement and reengagement,” it can be one of the toughest things an entire family unit has to endure. These are the “hallmarks” of military children; engaging with the counseling services which are offered, though, are activities on the base. Although, one thing is definite, they are tough enough to endure such harsh changes; they can get through anything life brings them.