Saluting our military children

  • Published
  • By Maj. Taona Enriquez
  • 65th Contracting Flight
Given that we are in the high season for permenant changes of station, I thought it fitting to take some time to thank and recognize our families -- specifically our children.

The month of April is the month of the military child, however, it's during these times that they could use a little more thanks. When we think of military children, we think about how lucky they are to live in different cities and countries, and how they have the opportunity to experience other cultures. What we as parents call "opportunities," our children might describe as something different.

Every time we PCS they are forced to make new friends, set up a new house (the dreadful unpacking), start a new school and then face the challenges of their new assignment head on.

While there may be some grumbling, frustration or even a few episodes in which they lash out, they quickly strap on their boots, face the challenge and conquer their new assignment. For their every effort and for their resiliency, we are thankful.

Here are some comparisons that illustrate the challenges our children face, as compared to traditional civilian children.

- A civilian child might rarely leave his hometown for anything other than vacation. A military child will rarely see his "hometown" for anything other than vacation.
- A civilian child can read and write in English. A military child can read and write in acronym.
- A civilian child gets to see things other kids would love to see. A military child gets to see things world leaders would love to see.
- A civilian child only sees the plane flying over. A military child can not only identify the type of plane flying, but knows someone who works on it.
- A civilian child has a best friend in his hometown. A military child has a best friend on almost every continent.
- A civilian child supports our soldiers. A military child is a soldier.

In my ten short years in the Air Force it is seldom that I meet a fellow Airman who separates because they don't like their job or they're not challenged. Nine times out of ten it's because of their family-- whether it's to provide stability, to support their spouse's opportunities or to be closer to their families.

Children impact every decision we make and they are our true soldiers. It's not a secret the active duty members receive accolades for a job well done and their hard work is usually recognized through awards, letters of appreciation or even a thank you from the boss.

Let the truth be known -- all of our successes wouldn't be possible without the support and sacrifices of our spouses and children.

So on behalf of my fellow service members, I thank each and every military child for being that solider and the rock upon which we stand. Thank you!