by Julene Preece
I am proud to be a military child! Living with a dad in the air force is hard at times but it has provided me with excellent opportunities for meeting new people, travelling and living in different cities and provinces. Moving away from my friends, my hometown and my schools has been difficult for me but for children with parents in the military, it is a common occurrence. It was challenging for me to move from Ontario to Nova Scotia and then back to Ontario again but I feel it has helped me gain a great perspective on meeting life’s challenges and I've learned to make the best of new situations.
My father was deployed to Italy in the fall in 2004 where he was seriously injured in an automobile accident. For Christmas holidays that year, my dad spent Christmas in the hospital and rehabilitation center and my mom, my sister and I lived in an emergency apartment supplied by the MFRC so we could be close to my dad and see him each day since we lived 1 1/2 hours away. I learned to appreciate my family, friends, the holidays, and the kindness of strangers and that Christmas is my favorite holiday memory -even eating the hospital food off trays on Christmas day was great because we were together. It is difficult to spend special events, like several of my birthdays, away from my dad, however we have wonderful technology like Skype or videos to send to see one another.
When I was younger, I had anger issues from the experience of having my father injured in the accident and I benefited from the anger management classes held at the Greenwood MFRC. I also took the Home Alone courses because with a father that was often gone and a mother who worked, I needed to be comfortable and safe staying at home alone with my sister for periods of time.
It is an experience to have a parent in the military because it challenges us, as children, to meet all sorts of new people, live in new places, adapt, and experience the opportunities different communities offer. I believe military children have a different outlook on life and we learn to appreciate what we have because the one's we love could be taken away from us at any moment. We learn to care about others around us because we know we might have to say goodbye or until we meet again!
Other people may not understand the military life we live but it is our life and we do not question it. When my dad joined the Air Force-we all joined because my family goes where he does. I am open to new beginnings, making happy memories, making new friends, and I know when it is time for me to leave home for college or university, I am well prepared for the next adventure because of everything I have learned and experienced being a child with a dad in the Air Force.