The detachment. The total amount of times my Dad has been deployed would be 3 times, at least those I remember and has affected me. I remember the first time when I was small maybe 4, and he was leaving to go to South Korea (of course at that time I was not sure where he was going). When we got there he was saying goodbye and I wanted to go with him but since I was still in my car seat I did not know how to take off the seat belt. He closed the car door and left, with my little self trying to open the car door. Next thing I remember I was crying and watching him take closer steps to the building. The other two times where they are the same honestly, when he left to Iraq I cried numerous times before he actually left the same when he left to Kuwait the previous year. I am always telling myself that I have to be strong and that the sooner he leaves the earlier he gets back.
Single parent. Hands down, I would have to say that my Mom is the strongest person I have met. Full of character and not once have I found her crying when my Dad leaves (unless she does and I don't see her). I am not sure how she does it, having to temporarily play two roles of mother and father. She has always put my brothers and I first before herself. I sometimes wonder how my Mom was like as a person before she met my Dad. Was she already independent, and confident? Or was she timid and quiet like I am at the moment? Glad she chose to marry my Dad, they're the perfect partners for each other and are able to communicate without actually communicating. I call it the telepathic minds. I think it comes when you know the person backwards and forwards that you can actually read thoughts or actions before they happen. It is weird, but my parents has known each other roughly around 30 to 35 years. Either way, I try to make the transition easier for the both us by not asking for much and helping out when I can.
Moving. You would think that the few times I have moved throughout my childhood, I would learn to socialize and learn to make friends quickly. That was probably the biggest obstacle I had to go over. Saying goodbyes were the worst and then seeing people who look like the friends you have left was heartbreaking. I do not consider myself to have a hometown since the place I was born in I only stayed them until I was one year old and we moved again. Though I am thankful that I had the opportunity to travel, learn new cultures, meet people I would have not thought of knowing. It has taught me not to be ignorant and create assumptions based on the media instead to actually know them for who they are. Such as when I lived in Hawaii, I was introduced to the ukulele. It's like a tiny guitar with only four strings but it creates such a beautiful relaxing tune that for Christmas I had gotten one and over this summer I have been playing. When I used to go to middle school over there, during transition periods some of my classmates would spontaneously just play the ukulele and walk to class. Since it was an outdoor school, the sound would travel around the campus. Spam musibi was another thing I miss, you could go to almost any gas station and buy one. It is basically a piece of cooked spam on rice wrapped in seaweed. It was also made with teriyaki chicken. Such lovely people I met when I lived there, nice to have felt included.
Friends. So far the nationalities I have met include Polynesian, Samoan, Venezuelan, Spanish, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and German. I had a best friend who was Korean and she drew so amazingly that it caused me to pick up drawing myself. I had met her in the 6th grade and we were both wallflowers only I was the first to interact. I began to include her more when others would not give her a chance. I do not regret meeting her, she was the first to take me to eat Pho with her family (I believe it is Vietnamese soup and they give you the meat is a bit raw but you're supposed to dip the meat into the broth to finish its cooking, so good...), first to introduce me into Nutella, and expanded my music vocabulary for introducing to Vocaloid which is Japanese computerized singing robots that sound like humans and through that I picked up some Japanese phrases and we would talk to each other in small verses in Japanese. At church in Hawaii is where I felt included since everyone spoke Spanish there and I honestly felt like I was Puerto Rico. In fact I met a Puerto Rican mother that I grew close to that I still talk to, her stories were profound. Give people chances is something important I have learned, you have to open up if you want to actually settle into the location you were stationed in. And who knows, you may see them again.
Being a military kid has their pros and cons, but I have learned to make the best out of each situation. Like go to the top of Moana Loa the tallest mountain in the Big Island where you have to look down to see the clouds or run a 5K for a fundraiser in Texas. I have heard a lot of times that military kids grow up faster than normal kids but I do not think it's necessarily true. Everyone grows up by the amount of experiences and stories they have encountered throughout their childhood that develop them to become the person they are today. But I do believe it makes us grow up differently among the rest. Obviously there is more, but this the glimpse of the military kid life. In person I do not mention that I am a military kid because it either not brought up or I do not bring it up. It's not something I like to talk about but it is a part of who I am and I cannot ignore it.
How has the military impacted your life?