Life as a military child

Life as a military child 

April is the Month of the Military Child, which means a time to celebrate and understand the unique life of a growing up in a military family. Being a military kid means always having to adjust and adapt to an array of changes, and that’s not an easy task! 

This year we thought what better way to acknowledge the military child than to ask them about their experience. Here is what a few Calgary MFRC kids had to say, in their own words. 

Pride in the Uniform 

“I know more about my country and have a deeper sense of pride for our country. And I can identify airplanes super well!” 

“I remember two ceremonies where dad got more stripes and moved up in the ranks. He was so happy, and we had a fun party.” 

“I love his uniforms. He as a fancy one and an army camo green one and a black one with a batman utility belt and a blue one.” 

Frequent Moves 

“I didn’t want to move. I had friends I wanted to keep. I didn’t know if I would meet new friends that were as cool as my old ones. But it was a fresh start and I made new friends.”  

“I didn’t understand, why we had to move. I didn’t want to change schools again. I couldn’t convince my parents not to.” 

Facing Unknowns 

“I don’t know exactly what dad does. I know he has a gun and has to go do trainings and go on trips. He also works at a desk in an office building sometimes.” 

“Will he get deployed? Where? I never know when he’s going to have to be called to fight.” 

Dealing with an Operational Stress Injury 

“I did not understand why his temper was so intense sometimes and why he yelled so loud. Sometimes he was not able to handle certain things that were “normal” for little kids to do or say. It took me over 10 years to fully grasp the weight of what it was like for my stepfather working in the military and specifically to be dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” 

“My dad has been treated for an OSI and now I can see his personality and light coming back that I never saw before. He is so healthy inside and out now and I have never seen him smile and joke more than he does now. He did so much good in his service I am SO eternally grateful for his important hard work in the forces.”  

Building resilience 

We asked a mom of a military child what she felt about their unique experience.  

“I love the imagery of the dandelion that represents the Military Child. My kids have had to relocate like the seeds of the dandelion blowing in the wind, but they have managed to become stronger because of it. We all have made many friends along the way, but more importantly we have grown closer to each other as a family unit. There have definitely been hardships and sacrifices, but there has been much love and celebration and pride as well.”