What Military Kids Wish You Knew

Things that military kids wish other people knew about them

We asked Garrett Hoppin, a military kid what he wishes civilian families knew about military families and military kids. Here’s what he had to say:

Our parents do more than just go on deployments…

… they are actually home sometimes.

Although deployments are common, military parents aren’t constantly deployed, in most cases.  Even when they’re not deployed, they have their regular duties and other shorter TDYs (temporary duty assignments that take them away from home).  We really appreciate when our parents are at home, but when they have to go, we understand why (at least most of the times).

Not every Air Force parent flies, not every Army parent is on the frontlines, and so on and so forth…

… there is way more to the military than that.

There are plenty of Air Force members that do fly, and plenty of Army members who are on the frontlines, but there are plenty of other jobs that support the mission. People work to plan missions, maintain planes, and run installations. In addition, new technologies are created everyday by engineers and projects are planned and built all over the world by the Army Corps of Engineers. All of these different parts make up the military.

Sometimes it may feel like we’re alienating you or distancing ourselves on purpose, but we get restless after a few years and…

… it just feels like it is time to move.

Every three years or so,  military brats are used to packing everything up and moving from one installation to another (generally from one state to another or one country to another). We not only have to leave our schools, communities, and familiar surroundings, we also have to leave our friends. In order to prepare for this, every three years,  military kids tend to begin the process of wrapping things up with their friends, understanding that they have to leave them soon.  So if you know a military brat who suddenly begins to become distant, understand that there might be more going on than you think.

Many brats go on to serve in the military, but not every kid wants to follow in their parent’s footsteps…

… some of us are done after eighteen years as a brat.

Although each military brat understands the significance of their parent’s military service, not every one of us wants to follow in our parent’s footsteps. After being in the military for all of our lives (the family is part of the military as well), and moving and leaving friends every three years, the idea of doing that for the rest of our lives is not always appealing.  This doesn’t mean we’re not proud of our parent’s service or that we don’t want to serve.  You may just find us serving our country in other ways – perhaps through volunteering and continuing to support those in uniform.

Finally, the one thing we’d like you to know about us is…..

…..we are proud to be military kids.

We understand the importance of our parent’s job and though their jobs take them away from the family a lot, we couldn’t be prouder of what they do.  And even though the lifestyle comes with its challenges, there are plenty of rewards associated with it as well.

Garrett Hoppin is a high school senior in Northern Virginia. As an Air Force brat he has lived in places from Japan to Kansas to Germany. When he isn’t writing, he loves volunteering, rowing, and helping lead his school’s Model United Nations club.


One Response to What Military Kids Wish You Knew

  1. Grace A. June 12, 2011 at 2:15 PM #

    All you civilian kids think we’re weird, because you think we talk all crazy-military and ask for MRE’s at dinner. we dont. I have lived more than half of my life in germany, so i can’t go to the mall after school, sneak out of the house, or go off base. ever other year, I move away from all of my friends and have to go to some random base. My daddy isn’t home much, but he’s here more otfen’s than some people’s dads. I also get to go places like Paris, Berlin, London, and Italy most weekends, so my cell phone doesn’t work. But, then again, I barley use my cell phone. None of my friends really do, instead we hang out at the you center. You think your 30-minute bus rude is too long? My bus is and hour and a half. Sometimes, our bus breaks down and so we all do our homework while we wait three hours to get to our base. So next time the “new kid” comes to your school and gets made fun of, just know, the’s the “new kid” because his daddy ( or mom ) is protecting you rights. We serve too.


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