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
Great article Marine Brat! We are proud of you!
Momma tell us some more of the amazing things your son has done! I didn’t have the chance to highlight them all!
Michael-Logan is an amazing young man (yes, I am 1 proud momma)! He was diagnosed at the age of 3 with the #1 disabling disease in America…arthritis. Yes, kids get arthritis too! He doesn’t let that slow him down. After working at a Toys for Tots warehouse with us at the age of 5, he started his journey of giving back to others. That journey is still going strong today! For the past 9 years, he has had his annual Toys for Tot Birthday Bash where he has donated all of his b-day gifts and money to Toys for Tots. Thousands of children have benefited from his generosity! He enlisted the help of his classmates at an early age to make, fill and distribute over 400 Christmas Stockings to his Father’s Unit who was stationed in Fallujah. He is an Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation (he, his brother and myself all have a form of arthritis) and has educated, advocated and donated so that 1 day this disease will be eliminated. He has participated in the arthritis walk for 5 years and in 2012 was the Juvenile Honoree in Hawaii. Team “Logan’s Heroes” (100 members strong) attended the walk. After meeting Gary Sinise, Gary was so impressed by Logan, he became 1 of his heroes and donated $2500 to the Arthritis Foundation. Cheesa from “The Voice” also became a member of Logan’s Heroes. In 2012, alone, team Logan’s Heroes raised over $10,000 for the Arthritis Foundation.
Logan’s giving back does not stop there. He regularly volunteers and donates to charities like Armed Services YMCA’s Quilt/Pillow project that makes quilts/pillows for children of deployed service members, Lokahi Giving Project, Wounded Warriors, The Fisher House, Veteran’s Homeless Shelter The Heart of America Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation. Logan is an honor roll student, Peer Educator, works with at risk youth, tutors, and speaks at local schools about his disease, bullying, healthy eating and let’s move together campaigns. He also helps his younger brother and sister with their charities…The Hawaii Food Bank and Hawaiian Humane Society.
The son of a wounded warrior, Logan helped his father, Msgt Christopher Jordan, rehab from the injuries he sustained from an IED on Dec 24, 2006. Logan is a published author, has just started a blog about the 3 sides of Mlitary Life from the Sailor, the Spouse and the Brat’s perspective. He has also co-authored children’s stories “Max and Mia…Military Kids Extraordinare” (awaiting publication once an illustrator is found). In 2007, he won first place in Armed Services YMCA “Why My Military Parent Is My Hero”. In 2011, he was a top 20 semi-finalist in Operation Homefront’s Military Child of The Year and 2012/2013 top 5 finalist for MCOY. In 2012, Logan addressed Congress and met with his Senators telling his story and advocating for more funding for arthritis research. He was named “Honerable Mention” in 2012 Farm Rich Foods (winter quarter) “Kids Who Give” and is the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Hawaii Honoree. February 22, 2013, he presented Gary Sinise with the very first “Logan’s Heroes Honu Award” and $1,000 check for the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Logan identifies with the Honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle). This is one of my favorite quotes from one of Logan’s many speaking engagements: “The Honu is akward on land, but graceful in the water. I might not be a proffessional basketball player (even though my name is ‘Michael Jordan”). I might be akward on land, walking with a cane at times, but I am graceful in all that I do”…Michael-Logan Jordan…
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