Commentary by Michelle McBride
One of the best parts about moving was the amount of time I got to spend with my parents. It was time together I will never get to have again as an adult living in a different city from my parents. There was less traveling so it was more time than I had ever spent with my parents and we were able to connect and form a bond that we may not have done otherwise.
By the time I graduated I was having serious thoughts about going to a university in Colombia. However, I had reconnected with an old friend in Texas and we were making plans to be together.
My parents stayed in Colombia for a few more years while I was in college before returning to Texas where my sister and I both still live. It was strange being so far away, and I missed them all the time.
As an adult, I have a deep appreciation for our service members as well as their families. In fact, I now work for the military as a civilian.
In high school, I thought moving around would negatively affect my relationships with people but instead it did the opposite. It made me enjoy meeting new people and getting to know their quirks. It’s nice having friends around the world, especially when traveling (not having to pay for a hotel doesn’t hurt either). I have also managed to stay in the same relationship with the guy I reconnected with in High School. He even went to Colombia to visit me and attend my high school graduation ceremony. We then went to the same college and have been together ever since.
My dad is a contractor now, working in Iraq. I think for people like my dad it is a lifestyle that is hard to let go of. He still gets up and runs every day, still keeps in touch with his Special Forces buddies and he still likes to share his old war stories (especially when my boyfriend comes around).
My parents always did what they had to do for us and now, as an adult, it’s my turn to do what I need to do for them. I thank my parents for raising me as a military child. I wouldn’t be me if they hadn’t.
(Part 3 of 3 documenting my experience as the daughter of a soldier in honor of the Month of the Military Child. If you or someone you know is a military family member in need of support please contact Family Support Services at their 24/7 hotline 1-800-252-8032 or visit their website at https://tmd.texas.gov/family-support-service)