April is the month of the military child. We celebrate how amazing these children are not because it is just some random thing to celebrate, like garlic day (which happened to be yesterday). In the military community, we take this month to really look at how strong our children are, and the unique struggles they face.
My sisters and my brother grew up as Navy brats. We were never asked about whether we wanted to move again and again, saying goodbye to countless friends and being forced to make new ones when we reached our new base. We had to start fresh in a brand new school and dive into a curriculum that was often either things we had already learned and done, or things we had never seen before and had to work extra hard to catch up.
One of the worst parts about moving schools is that upon entering high school, several of the credits that you earned could be wiped off your record, only to be replaced with a gaping hole of credits the new school required. This is an especially troubling state to be in when you might possibly have to attend summer school and/or complete an additional year of classes in order to graduate...even if you had exceptional grades.
Military children often deal with separation from their Mom or Dad. Even in times of peace, our service men and women have to separate with their loved ones for a time due to assignments, training, and things the military demands. If a parent is sent off to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, or any other dangerous place, it is a terrifying thing for a child to grasp. The whole family feels it, but children do not have the understanding that adults have, so it is much harder for them to deal with.
Since I grew up as a military brat, and later married a service member, I can tell you that it was much harder for me as a child to deal with the military because there were very, very few times when things were "fair." Now that I am a grown woman, I know that life in the military doles out more unfairness than things that are fair, but I can also appreciate the benefits that the military provides our family. Thankfully, both of my daughter's parents were military brats, so we can be sympathetic to her struggles. Growing up is a difficult process for all children, but military children have much more to deal with on top of that. This is why we celebrate the month of the military child.