COMMENTRAY: FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Growing up, I hated the military.

It was the military's fault that I was born with dual citizenship. I blamed the military when I had to leave for the United States and wondered if they spoke English there or not. I hated the military when it sent my dad to Korea for a year and it was the military's fault when the following year my mom had to go to Greenland for a year.

It was the military's fault when I had to leave the small capital of Wyoming to go to the busy city of Las Vegas. I hated the military every time I looked up to the stands and didn't see the cheering faces of my parents when I scored a goal. It was the military's fault that my brother moved out to 'Aim High.'

It was the military's fault that I had the opportunity of a lifetime to see the world and its fault that I eventually started to like it.

Being a military brat has given me so much. It not only gave me the opportunity to live and experience other cultures, but also brought me home to the United States.

It taught me how to make friends quickly and how to say goodbye, by not saying goodbye.

It has taught me to be independent and know right from wrong.

It has shown me patriotism, pride and dignity.

It has taught me how to love, respect and honor the one's who give their lives for our country.

It has taught me to stop and cover my heart every time the National Anthem is played and to teach others about devotion.

It has given me an education and allowed me to travel to places I would have never gone.

It's the reason I joined in 2003 and the reason I continue to serve.

It has opened doors for me and held them open so that I can proudly walk through with my head held high, accomplishing my goals.

It has taught me a language that not many know and has shown me that even though I don't think I can, I can and will do what has been placed before me.

It has given me the strength to go on when others can't and to pick up those who struggle.

The military introduced me to my husband and gave us a safe place to raise our son. It's the reason I raise my son to honor the fallen and thank the wounded. It's the reason he takes his baseball cap off at hockey games and points out every American flag during a car ride home. It's the reason why he is able to go outside and play safely because he knows he's being taken care of by the men and women who serve our country.

There are many reasons why a military brat is special. They are taught to live life to the fullest, love others unconditionally, to never quit and to always know that they're never alone. They make friends easily and don't let them go. They know when you say goodbye, it's not really goodbye - it's only the beginning. Military brats are well-rounded, down to earth people who understand differences and accept diversity.

April is the Month of the Military Child. Take the time to honor our servicemembers' children and pat them on the back for all that they do. For all military brats, this is your month. We appreciate you, love you and adore all that you stand for.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16