A military child's odyssey

by Faith Zapata
Kadena High School

When I get the chance to describe the life of a military child, I like to use the term Odyssey. It’s a life full of adventures that gives you experiences that you love to look back on over and over again. Life has its ups and downs, but in the end, it’s a journey I wouldn’t trade for the world. Not only do you get to move around, visit, and experience many different cultures and languages, you become filled with wonder for all the things of the world. Although moving away is tough, you know that you will be welcomed at your next duty station and make new friends there. When you create bonds with other military children, they become family. I have made so many plans with friends from my old bases, and since we move so often, it makes the possibilities even greater.

Of course, the life of a military child can also become stressful. When parents are deployed, they can be gone for a long time and miss important moments of your life. In my opinion, this strengthens the bond of families. When your parents come home, you are filled with so much love, and I don’t know anything that compares to it. I remember waiting for my dad to come home from deployment when I was little. I had a large container filled with Hershey kisses and each one represented a day that he would be gone. I would eat one every day, and when there were only a few left, I knew it was almost time to see him again. Some jobs our parents have also require late shifts, which prohibit you from seeing your family as often as you’d like. The positive side of this is that the moments spent together are more valuable. For these reasons, I think this Odyssey is a dream come true.

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