Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Month of the Military Kid

So this month is a dedicated to military children everywhere and although this is a sibling blog I can't ignore all these amazing kids! Now I am not a military child and obviously I don't have a military child myself. I am however the aunt of a military child.

My personal experience with a military child was with my niece during my brothers most recent deployment. A deployment that she wont remember and my family wont forget. At just 9 days old my niece had to say goodbye to the daddy she just met. Now I've seen a lot of goodbyes through the years but that was the most difficult one. At that same time I was watching children of all ages say their farewells on the base. It's not an easy thing to see and I can only imagine what those kids were thinking.

My nephew who isn't a military child but absolutely adored his Uncle Jon would see soldiers walking around the mall and the veterans parade and would try to run to them screaming "Uncle Jon Uncle Jon..." As cute as that was it hurt to made you want to cry a little bit. My nieces first word was "Dada" she loved pointing him out in pictures and even carried around a little picture of him around until he came home.

That was a long year and I took on a parent roll, making sure my niece was always taken care of. Let me tell you those Army Wives those are some pretty strong women, my sister in law has little family, just had a first baby and was going through her first deployment she had 2 surgeries during this deployment and had major car troubles...I maybe heard her complain twice, but she never let any of us see her upset.

When my brother came home my niece was never afraid of him and didn't cry when he held her...its like she knew this is her daddy and hes finally home; which was a shock because she seriously doesn't like men or really anyone. My nephew who was dying for him to come home was the one afraid of him it took all of a day for him to be all over uncle Jon.

If you want to see strength just watch a military kid, those are kids who are going through something many of us couldn't even imagine. The are a tough group and a group that deserves a lot of love and support.

They give up time with their parents, they leave all their friends and homes every few years for a new PCS and sometimes they give up a parent all so we as American can be free. Sacrifice isn't always on the battlefield sometimes it happens here. There are thousands of kids who have lost their mom's and dad's in Iraq and Afghanistan...some who have never even gotten the opportunity to meet their parents.

So this month and every month, don't forget about the little ones who are left behind so we can be free. They are sacrificing a lot for us.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

You still worry when they come home...

First and foremost my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those involved in the Fort Hood shooting today! This is such a tragedy and a horrible situation.

My brother has been stationed at Fort Hood and knew people on the base when the last shooting happened 4 years ago. He hasn't said much about the shooting today. It is so horrible honestly that we have to be scared for the safety of our service men and women while they are at home and on their bases.

As military siblings, parents, spouses, girlfriends/ boyfriends whatever we know the risks and we know the costs of war. Its a constant pain and never gets easier. This is a fear that we are used to having during a deployment, its not a fear we want to have or should have while our service member is home.

Sadly so many recent events are making it more and more difficult to feel like they are safe at home...Chris Kyle (Ret. Navy Seal sniper) was killed when he and a friend were helping a Marine with PTSD, the Fort Hood shooting in 2009, the recent shooting at the Naval yard, Chris Heben Ret. Navy Seal who was recently shot and had to chase his attackers and when a member of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was killed by a fellow soldier in 2012. This is just some of many.

I'm really not sure what to say about this, except remember how lucky you are and how blessed you are. Don't take any phone call, email or text message for granted. Tell your loved ones that you love them, life can be taken in an instant.

We know the cost of war, but that number continues to rise at home...actions like this and suicides are taking men and women too
early. They have reported that this soldier was under observation for PTSD, this is a serious problem among military today.

If you have the opportunity thank a soldier, make sure the military knows how appreciated they are, make them feel safe at home. Also, remember the families at home they sacrifice more than most can ever imagine.

If you know/ or are a soldier suffering with PTSD please get help. There are so many resources available. The Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1) is a resource for military, veterans and their families. take advantage of it.

So tonight, call your soldier if you can send an email if you can and say a prayer and send thoughts to the families effected today.