By Kendall Haden
Patch Middle School, 8th Grade
“Do you speak German?”
“You don’t look southern.”
“Why do you take the pledge so seriously?”
Statements like these are not unusual to me, even though they may be to someone. Statements like these are actually very common when I move to a different place, or explain where I have moved. When I am asked these questions or told these statements, I simply reply with “I am a military child.”
What does being a “Military child” mean? From another person’s view, it could mean an obedient, know-it-all who would give anything for their country. Maybe for military workers on the on the base, it may mean disruptive, misbehaving children who need to control their attitudes. Both of these assumptions are absolutely correct, but only for a very, very small group of military children.
So what about the majority of military children? There really is no right or wrong answer to this question. Military children are children are children just like non-military children. They may have different living styles or conditions, but so do a lot of non-military children. You just may not know about it.
When someone thinks of the word “MILITARY,” they probably think of the USA and fighting, or maybe just a line of muscular men with no emotion and camouflage outfits. However, as a military child, I believe I can write on behalf of all military children, that when we hear the word “MILITARY” we imagine or think of family, friends, and life. I am very proud to be a military child and proud to have been given the life I have been given, but that doesn’t mean I think I am better than non-military children, if anything, I respect them more because of this. Being in a military community has helped me in so many ways. I am even grateful for the fact that I get to call it a community. A lot of non-military children may not have this seemingly small, but in the end, large advantage, which is why I respect them.
Even though being a military child is “difficult” to some people, or “too complicated” to understand to others, I believe it is worth all the statements, questions, small changes, and large adjustments. I don’t mind explaining to people what I am or what I have to do, I actually enjoy showing them and hearing about their life struggles. Basically, being a military child is just being a child, with a few differences.
Editor’s note: Essays and drawings 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.