Presidio of Monterey military children reflect during the Month of the Military Child

By Heather KlineApril 10, 2024

Nico and Remy Jones, 13-year-old twins and military children who are currently stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, pose for a photo.
Nico and Remy Jones, 13-year-old twins and military children who are currently stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, pose for a photo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Katie, 16, and Lily, 14, Finocchiaro, who are currently stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, pose for a photo.
Katie, 16, and Lily, 14, Finocchiaro, who are currently stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, pose for a photo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (April 10, 2024) – The Month of the Military Child is observed and celebrated in April each year to recognize and honor the sacrifice and resilience of children who grow up in military families.

Military children face unique challenges such as frequent moves, separation from parents, temporary duty assignments, and adapting and integrating into new schools and communities. The 2024 Month of the Military Child theme is: Military Youth and Children: Brave, Fearless and Resilient.

In a recent Q&A session, Nico and Remy Jones, 13-year-old twins, and Katie, 16, and Lily, 14, Finocchiaro shared their experiences as children growing up in military families.

Both families are currently part of the Monterey military community at the Presidio of Monterey. U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Jones currently serves as the commander of the 517th Training Group and the assistant commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. U.S. Army Lt. Col James Finocchiaro currently serves as the command inspector general at DLIFLC.

Q: What is it like to be a military child?

A: Nico Jones: “Being a military kid means that I have to move a lot, but I get to meet a lot of new people and live in cool places.”

A: Remy Jones: “Being a military child means that I get to try new things, and I have to learn to not be afraid to fail. Being a military kid is teaching me to be responsible and open minded.”

A: Katie Finocchiaro: “To me, being a military child means moving a lot but also meeting lots of people wherever I go. I honestly really like being able to move around so much because I love visiting new places and seeing new sites.”

A: Lily Finocchiaro: “Being under the care of someone who works for the government and someone, I am used to change.”

Q: What are the best things about being a military child? What are the biggest challenges about being a military child? How do you overcome those challenges?

A: Nico Jones: “The best thing about being a mil kiddo is living on Air Force bases and seeing cool planes and jets fly over my house all the time. I also get to live in new and exciting places like Hawaii and California. The biggest challenge for me is saying goodbye to friends, but it helps to stay in touch with them.”

A: Remy Jones: “The best things about being a military child are living in new places, meeting new people, and learning to persevere through challenges. The biggest challenges are having to move all the time, enduring goodbyes to good friends and being told where to live instead of getting to live where you want to live. I get through these challenges by getting excited about new adventures, staying in contact with old friends and staying positive so I can make new friends.”

A: Katie Finocchiaro: “For sure the best part about being a military kid is getting to travel so much. I love traveling. I think the biggest challenge is having another military kid move away from you while you must stay in a place without them. I’m sure they probably feel the same way when you move so it’s nice to know there’s a mutual experience.”

A: Lily Finocchiaro: “Moving is hard; either you move, or other people do. In terms of my family, you get used to everything constantly shifting. I'd make a good friend, and they’d move to Germany. Adjusting every time becomes part of a rhythm. It isn't hard if you don't know any better.”

Q: How do you feel when your dad deploys or is away for a long TDY trip? How do you stay connected? 

A: Nico Jones: “I get sad when he's away, but most of the time I can call him and then I am not sad anymore.”

A: Remy Jones: “I don't like it when my dad deploys or travels all the time for work, but we use FaceTime to stay in touch, and I try to stay hopeful about the future when he returns.”

A: Katie Finocchiaro: “I don’t really remember the last time my dad was on a deployment trip because I was young but if he went on another deployment, I would be pretty upset. In good news, it’s easier to stay in touch with people than it was 16 years ago, so I’d probably be able to stay in contact with him.”

A: Lily Finocchiaro: “Thankfully the only time, I know of, that my father deployed was when he went to Iraq, and I was not even one year old. He missed my first birthday. Since then, he's always tried to be as active in my family as possible. I remember listening to videos he sent, they would be of him reading a book to my sister.”

Q: Where was your favorite place to be stationed and why? How many different places have you lived in your young life?

A: Remy Jones: “My favorite place to live was Northern Viriginia when my dad was working at the Pentagon. I made the most friends and there was always something to do.”

A: Nico Jones: “Same!”

A: Katie Finocchiaro: “Honestly, I don’t remember many of the places I’ve lived, but I lived in West Point, New York for a while and that was pretty cool. I’ve lived in six places and in eight different houses.”

A: Lily Finocchiaro: “I haven't lived nearly as many places as your average military kid, and of the five places I've lived I only remember two. The place where I lived for eight years was my favorite. There were always kids outside running around that I would chat and play games with. I lived across from a park where new friends would shuffle in and eventually out.”

PoM’s Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation plans to celebrate the Month of the Military Child with a full calendar of activities and events, including the third annual Touch-A-Truck event on April 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the General Stilwell Community Center, 4260 Gigling Rd., Seaside, Calif.

Touch-A-Truck will feature various trucks from the community on display, games, giveaways, arts and crafts and more. For more information on the 2024 Touch-A-Truck event, visit: Touch A Truck: Presidio of Monterey: US Army MWR.