One military teen's thoughts on ups and downs of Army life
June 14, 2010
FORT POLK, La. -- Have you ever thought about moving and then changed your mind'
Well, when you're a kid, you don't have a choice about where you live. If you are a military teen, you have no choice but to pack your bags and go when the Army calls. There are no "ifs, ands or buts."
Military life as a teen isn't easy. Some people look at military teens and think they are rich, spoiled brats. Many people call military children Army brats. But how can you call someone these names' Did you ever even think about how they would feel'
Their moms, dads, brothers or sisters could be deployed for months or years at a time. Do you think they care about money' They don't -- not at all. What they want is their Family together again.
It's hard to be a military teen because it's always goodbye and hello. You never get to know people well enough to trust them with anything. This has a big effect on some people. You are always worried when your friends and Family go overseas. Sometimes when they come back, they aren't the same and it's so hard. So, yes some teens may be upset at times, but that doesn't make them brats.
But like everything in life, there is also a bright side if you look deep enough.
Being a military teen means you get to go to free concerts, festivals and all types of fun events. The military offers these fun events to make up for some of the lost time Families have had to give up. They can be a real treat.
Lots of things are open to you like Youth Services. This is a place teens can go to hang out after school and do lots of fun activities. They can also help military teens help pay for things like dorms and other expenses for college with scholarships. There are also sports and clubs you can get into.
Another positive thing you can learn from being a military teen is how to cope with change and moving. You learn to work with your Family together as a team. Depending on where in the world the Army takes you, learning about different cultures, languages and styles are things you can take with you when you head back to the States. Through these experiences, you also learn how to make new friends and have a big heart.
But none of it makes up for the missed birthdays, celebrations and important events with the ones you love. Then again, when you're separated for long periods of time, it makes it so much more important to love each other and see how much you need your Family in your life.