I am a Military Brat. I wear that title with pride! My Dad has been in the Marine Corps for 20 years. My Mom holds many titles and jobs. Most importantly, she is the glue that holds our family together! I have 2 younger siblings that I love to death even though they drive me crazy sometimes!
When you have a parent that serves in the military, your entire family serves. I’m 14 years old, have lived in 5 different states, attended 5 (soon to be 6) different schools, am on the Honor Roll, volunteer/give back with many non-profit organizations and I have health challenges (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis). Being a Military Brat is who I am. I love my life and wouldn’t change it for anything!
I am honored to be a guest writer and would like to answer some questions about being a military child.
Q: How is life of a military child in high school different from that of a civilian?
A: My family is stationed in Hawaii and all middle/high school students go to a DOE school off base. I have enjoyed learning and experiencing the Hawaiian culture. Many of my local friends have been born and raised on the island and have never experienced life on the mainland. They ask me a lot of questions… especially about dealing with deployments. The culture here is very rich with family. I explain to them that military families make their friends their families. We rely on and support each other through the good and bad times.
Q: What are the 3 things that you have been able to experience that you love the most of having a parent that is a Marine?
A: That’s easy! Pride, Friends and Safety. Pride: I am very proud of my Dad and his accomplishments in the Marine Corps. Friends: I have an abundance of friends. I know that when it’s time to move, I will keep my friends and make more. The Marine Corps is a small community and a lot of the time, I see my friends at another duty station. Safety: I always feel safe. I know my Dad and many other men and women work tirelessly to insure my safety and freedom.
Q: Have you ever had to give up anything because of the military lifestyle?
A: I think at some point in time, everyone must give up something in life. Yes, it is hard to PCS-leaving friends, starting new schools, losing personal possessions, giving up sports (if you’re on a team) for a period of time. However, we are taught at a very early age to be flexible. If you truly think about it, you can always turn a negative into a positive.
Q: What is the best and worst thing about moving? Do you feel like there is a better or worse time (age/grade) to make the transition?
A: The best thing about moving is being able to live and experience different places, foods and culture. We are actually pretty lucky. A lot of people never leave their home town! I think the worst thing about moving is leaving your friends. There is a bright side to that…social media has made it much easier to stay in touch! Your best friend is just a phone call, chat or Skype session away.
I do think it is easier to move while in elementary school verses high school, but at any age it is doable. For the easiest transition, try to time moving during the summer or between semester breaks. It is harder for middle/high school kids to catch up on classes. Let’s face it, most high school kids want to at least spend their Junior and Senior year in the same school, but we are flexible!
As kids, we are able to adapt and overcome change. Our attitudes about change really depend on our parents actions. If your parents approach it in a positive way and teach you that every move is a new adventure, then kids will adopt that same attitude. Never assume we are ok or that we don’t want to talk about it. Communicate with us. Believe it or not, we feel much better when we can talk with you!
Thank you for this experience and I hope to chat with you all again! Until then…
Marine Brat, aka Michael-Logan Jordan
2013 Operation Homefront Military Child of the Year finalist for USMC
2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Hawaii State Honoree