Lillian and Lucas Beavers, military children, salute the flag at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., April 9. They are the children of Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Beavers.
Lillian and Lucas Beavers, military children, salute the flag at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., April 9. They are the children of Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Beavers. (Photo Credit: Photo by Heather Kline) VIEW ORIGINAL

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (April 12, 2023) – Military children serve, too. They are resilient and brave, and that’s the very reason they have a whole month dedicated to recognizing them.

Every year, the Department of Defense observes April as the Month of the Military Child to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide and recognize the unique challenges of military-connected children. The Month of the Military Child also aims to highlight programs, resources and services available to support the overall well-being of military children, youth and teens.

Military children continue to thrive despite the challenges of having a parent, or both, serving in the Armed Forces. We asked a few of our own Presidio of Monterey military children some questions, and their answers might surprise you.

Amaya Cruz is a military child who lives in Monterey, Calif., while her father, Command Sgt. Maj. Ernesto Cruz serves in the Army.
Amaya Cruz is a military child who lives in Monterey, Calif., while her father, Command Sgt. Maj. Ernesto Cruz serves in the Army. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Amaya Cruz, 16, daughter of U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Ernesto Cruz

Q: What do you like doing in the Monterey community/being stationed here?

A: “I love being stationed here as it is such a wonderful community. I feel safe to just walk around town on my own, and there are plenty of things to do to fill my days. The most prominent thing that I do in the community is that I’m an active part of the Monterey High Players, a theater group that does multiple shows a year! Our upcoming show is ‘Something Rotten,’ a comedic musical based in Renaissance England. Our first show is April 27th at the Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel.”

Q: What do you like about being a military child? Dislike?

A: “One thing I love about being a military child is the opportunity to see new places, experience new things. However, it also has its downsides, such as being forced to leave a place that you’ve grown familiar with and have begun to call home. You have to leave your friends. It’s hard, especially when you lose those seemingly lifelong friends due to the sheer distance, but it eventually gets easier.”

Q: How do you feel about your parent/s serving in the military?

“It can be a little scary at times, not knowing if my dad is coming home, but I honestly haven’t had to worry about that in years. I’m proud of my dad. He’s come really far in his career, and I watch him do a lot of good. I’ve watched him climb the ranks over the years and every time he’s gotten promoted, all I could think was, ‘Woah. That’s my dad.’ I just hope that one day I could live up to the Cruz name, even if it isn’t in the military.”

Hunter, Damon and Scarlett Traylor are military children living in Monterey, Calif., where their father, Army Maj. Jacob Traylor, is stationed.
Hunter, Damon and Scarlett Traylor are military children living in Monterey, Calif., where their father, Army Maj. Jacob Traylor, is stationed. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Scarlett Traylor, 13, daughter of U.S. Army Maj. Jacob Traylor

Q: What do you like doing in the Monterey community/being stationed here?

A: “I love being in Monterey. I have great friends and it’s beautiful here.”

Q: What do you like about being a military child? Dislike?

A: “I like living in cool places, but I don’t like moving every couple of years and always having to be the new kid and leaving my old friends.”

Q: How do you feel about your parent/s serving in the military?

A: “I’ve never really thought about it, but I think out of all the jobs for your parents and my friends’ parents to be, the military is a pretty cool job.”

Hunter Traylor, 13, son of U.S. Army Maj. Jacob Traylor

Q: What do you like doing in the Monterey community/being stationed here?

A: “I like doing a handful of things like playing bocce ball, going to antique shops in Cannery Row or Pacific Grove, and visiting the aquarium from time to time.”

Q: What do you like about being a military child? Dislike?

A: “What I like about being a military kid is that I get to move to a lot of different places and see new and different things.”

Q: How do you feel about your parent/s serving in the military?

A: “I don’t feel too much about my dad working in the military. But since he studies Russian now, it’s really annoying because I can’t hang out with him as much but sometimes it’s not as bad as others like when his finals come.”

Damon Traylor, 10, son of Army Maj. Jacob Traylor

Q: What do you like doing in the Monterey community/being stationed here?

A: “It depends on the season. In winter is the ice-skating rink, but most other seasons it is playing bocce ball at the wharf.”

Q: What do you like about being a military child? Dislike?

A: “The good part about it is us going to a lot of places around the world. The bad part is friends because we move every couple of years. Other than that, it's kind of fun.”

Q: How do you feel about your parent/s serving in the military?

A: “Good. It doesn’t make a difference to me, other than Dad studying at [the Naval Postgraduate School], it’s OK.”

Lillian and Lucas Beavers, military children, salute the flag at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., April 9. They are the children of Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Beavers.
Lillian and Lucas Beavers, military children, salute the flag at the Presidio of Monterey, Calif., April 9. They are the children of Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Beavers. (Photo Credit: Photo by Heather Kline) VIEW ORIGINAL

Lillian and Lucas Beavers, ages 9 and 7, children of Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Beavers

Q: What do you like doing in the Monterey community/being stationed here?

Lillian (9): “I like going to the beach. We didn't really have beaches when we lived in Nebraska.”

Lucas (7): “I have a lot of good friends and I like going to the Dennis the Menace Park.”

Q: What do you like about being a military child? Dislike?

Lillian: “We get to travel a lot and see different places. I don’t like that it takes four days to drive to Nana’s house and that we have to move away from friends a lot.”

Lucas: “Sometimes I get to go to my Dad’s work. I don't like that we have to move a lot and I can’t see my friends anymore.”

Q: How do you feel about your parent/s serving in the military?

Lillian: “Sometimes he has to work far away, and we don’t get to see him.”

Lucas: “It makes me feel happy because it suits him.”

It’s no secret that military children face unique challenges and learn to understand what sacrifice means at an early age. They are exposed to a service culture and live and breathe patriotism. They are a source of inspiration for those around them. As displayed, it’s inspiring to see military children render salutes as a way of respecting the flag and our country.

Parents can find more information about the Month of the Military Child 2023 events and ongoing resources for children, youth and teens by visiting https://www.militaryonesource.mil/parenting/children-youth-teens/month-of-the-military-child/.