Lifelong military child reflects on Month of the Military Child
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Harmony Jones, right, a lifelong military child and member of the Monterey military community, poses with her father, Marine Corps Capt. James Jones; her mother, Brandi Jones; and her brother, Jett Jones, at a Fourth of July celebration at the White House, Washington, D.C., 2022. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lifelong military child reflects on Month of the Military Child
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Pacific Coast Athletic League named Harmony Jones, a lifelong military child and senior at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Calif., Defensive Player of the Year in March. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Harmony Jones, a military child and senior at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Calif., poses for a photo wearing her Miss Monterey Teen USA sash.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Harmony Jones, a military child and senior at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Calif., poses for a photo wearing her Miss Monterey Teen USA sash. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lifelong military child reflects on Month of the Military Child
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Harmony Jones, a military child and senior at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Calif., poses for a photo at school March 8. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (April 3, 2023) – Harmony Jones, a senior in high school and member of the Monterey military community, has been a military child since she was born.

In her 17 years, Jones has lived in six places—spanning from Virginia on the East Coast to California on the West Coast. While the moves have presented challenges, they have ultimately contributed to her success. Her achievements include stellar grades, athletic success in field hockey, leadership roles at school and the title of Miss Monterey County USA 2022. April is the Month of the Military Child, and Jones shared how focusing on the positive has helped her thrive as a military child.

“Just stick with it. Every turn is going to be a new adventure and it’s going to be difficult,” Jones said, “but as long as you just keep some core values with you and learn from everywhere you are and not see it as an unfortunate circumstance [you’re going to be successful].”

Jones is one of 1.6 million U.S. military children, and each year the military community celebrates the Month of the Military Child in April to thank and support them for the unique and invaluable role they play. Jones said she is thankful for the recognition because the military lifestyle can be tough, and it is important to recognize the fact that it impacts children and spouses as well as service members.

“Military kids go through a lot as well and they deserve a little extra support and extra appreciation for what they do for their country,” Jones said.

Jones’ family includes her father, Marine Corps Capt. James Jones, an aviation supply officer stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.; her mother, Brandi, organizing director for the Secure Families Initiative, a nonprofit organization that represents military spouses, family members and veterans; and 15-year-old brother Jett. A senior at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Jones plans to attend the University of Southern California next year and major in human biology with an emphasis in pre-med. Her goal is to become a surgeon.

On average, military children move every two to three years, and this causes unique challenges due to changes in schools and support networks, according to the Department of Defense.

As someone who has experienced several military moves, Jones said she urges military children to focus on the positive. Doing so builds resiliency, she said.

“I developed a lot of resilience from constantly having to rebuild myself everywhere I have gone and make sure that I can still hold some core values,” Jones said. “That’s helped me get to where I am now.”

A core value that has helped her throughout her life is having respect for everyone, Jones said.

“I think that’s a huge one, regardless of what they’ve done or where they’ve come from,” Jones said. “Just appreciating everyone for who they are and kind of that they’ve made it this far and then having compassion for everyone. I would just say being a kind person in as many ways as you can.”

Jones is also thankful for the support and guidance her family has provided her throughout the years.

Brandi Jones said she is proud of her daughter’s achievements and believes the Month of the Military Child is important.

In fact, Brandi Jones, a military child herself, said she thought it was so important when the family lived in Seal Beach, California, she became involved in her children’s parent and teacher organization helped organize Month of the Military Child events at her children’s school, where about a quarter of the student population was military connected.

That was in 2013, and the school has continued the recognition events since then, Brandi Jones said.

“It’s impacted thousands of military children over the years who have been stationed there and it gives me so much peace knowing that they’ll never have to be not recognized or not included the way the first year was for our family,” Jones said.

As she looks to the future, Harmony Jones said she is thankful for her military upbringing. Although she is still young, living in different places has allowed her understand people have different perceptions of the world, and she has been able to take aspects of those places and implement them in her own life.

“I continue to remember everywhere that I’ve come from and how those places have impacted my life,” Jones said.

To learn more about the Month of the Military Child, visit https://www.militaryonesource.mil/leaders-service-providers/children-youth-and-teens/month-of-the-military-child-toolkit