By Annalise Dolby
Patch Middle School, 8th Grade
To be military connected is to represent our country. As a military child, there are many advantages to my role. I have been to more countries as a 13-year old than most people go to in their entire life. I see the world from a unique perspective and I have the opportunity to be anything I want. It can be hard, though. Constantly moving and having my father called to duty is a lot for a child my age. Being a military connected child is a challenge and a privilege.
Being military connected is not an opportunity everyone is presented with. I was born into a family where my father just happened to be in the military. For most kids, it’s not a choice. I wouldn’t change a minute of it, though. I have met people all over the world. It always amazes me when someone asks me what my favorite country I’ve seen is, because I realize I have so many options. Most people daydream and say “ I would love to go to London.” I can say “ I would love to go BACK to London.” It’s not even a dream for me! I hold all of these places at my fingertips.
A new place means leaving. A new home means I say goodbye to an old one. There are chapters in everyone’s life, but most don’t turn the page as rapidly as those of military kids. Every time I move, I leave a whole world behind. As much as I wish I could, I can’t bring my friends and life with me. Every set of new orders carries a rainbow of meanings. It means stress and sadness, but it also means promise and adventure. Some places are harder to leave than others. Some places I remember, some I don’t. I’ve moved four times, and I still find that to be nothing compared to a large number of my peers! Moving has become a normal part of my life and, while it can be hard, I love it nonetheless.
I’ve always been told you can either have roots or wings. You can stay put your whole life, or you can take a chance and hope for adventures. I’ve chosen wings. I can’t imagine going to one school, knowing the same people for my whole life. I have been raised in an environment where my love for adventure is supported every step of the way. Being military connected means that adventure is a guarantee. If you choose wings over roots, you’ll find you can fly.
Editor’s note: Essays from students across the Stuttgart military community are submitted to the School Liaison Office each March and published throughout the month of April on The Citizen, at the Panzer Main Exchange and read aloud on AFN Stuttgart radio to celebrate our military children in Stuttgart.