What I Learned Growing Up As A Military Brat

As a daughter of a man in the Air Force, I identify with several other teenagers and young adults who are part of the military culture. While my father’s career was not a choice I made, I chose to embrace the “military brat” moniker. Sure, it’s tough, but growing up in this culture and environment taught me valuable lessons that help set me for life as a young adult.

Punctuality

One of the things particularly instilled in me is punctuality. There goes a saying, “early is on time; on time is late.” I would always strive to at least be 15 minutes early to any appointment or meeting. This gives me enough time to prep, especially for any sudden changes that may come up. It also shows professionalism, as well as good time management skills.

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Discipline

When people think of the armed forces, “discipline” is often the first word to come to mind. It’s no different when it comes to us children. No room or time for rebellious phases and acts. If I’ve committed myself to working on something, I stick to it.

Growing up, I would gradually develop self-discipline. I didn’t need to wait for my father to point out something before I acted upon it or fixed it myself. Although fixing myself wasn’t always the best thing for me, something I didn’t realize until speaking with a therapist online.

Hard Work

Nowadays, people like to call out my generation for acting very entitled. We “millennials” supposedly have everything given to us on a silver platter. I beg to differ. Growing up, I had to work for everything I needed and wanted. This isn’t to say that my parents didn’t provide me with my basic needs, but it also wasn’t just easily given to me all the time.

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I had my own household chores and responsibilities. If I wanted the new Harry Potter book, I had to work for it, not just ask for it. This helped me to develop great work ethic to the point that I don’t even like staying idle for too long.

Moving On

As military families often have to move, we have to move away from the homes we’ve just started to get used to. This means having to leave behind new friends and new spaces. That doesn’t mean having to permanently say goodbye, develop depression and completely lose connection. I’ve kept in touch with many of the friends I made growing up.

Regardless, my experience has taught me to not get too attached. Don’t make houses out of people. I’ve learned to be able to stand on my own and deal with having to move away. I can still keep in touch with people, and I can go back to visit old spaces in the future.

Learning New Cultures

I’m sure many will agree with me that even simply moving to another state means dealing with a different culture. Growing up, I’ve been exposed to different types of people, activities, interests, beliefs and even cuisine and music. This is probably one of my favorite things about being a military brat.

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I’ve been able to learn so much from different cultures, and I’ve taken up many values within myself. It’s beautiful being able to see how diverse people can be. I’ve learned to be more accepting and even fond of this diversity.

Living Overseas: Life And Struggles of Military Families

The family is the primary lifeline that supports the means of our survival. For it to thrive, parents (ideally) have to provide for the children and be hands-on with their upbringing. However, the “mother, father, and children living together” situation is not always the case for everybody. For some, parents need to be away from their children and spouses to work. Such is the reality for military families. 

Struggles Of A Military Spouse 

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According to recent statistics, the majority of military spouses are females under 35 years of age. The father is often deployed in faraway countries to render service, leaving the mother in charge of the household. While staying married, military spouses feel as if they are single parents because the responsibility of running the house falls entirely on them. 

“There are a lot of sacrifices that you should make,” a military wife says. This forbearance includes a change of attitude and lifestyle and putting on a tough face to make the marriage work and provide a healthy family environment for the children. Here are some finer points of what military spouses experience: 

  • Managing Fear And Worry 

It’s inevitable to feel anxious from time to time because you know that your spouse is in a dangerous place. You are also well aware of your spouse’s commitment to protecting the country no matter what the cost; at any day, he or she may take a bullet for a comrade and a commanding officer. 

It’s tough to live with this possibility every single day. But in time, you will get used to it and put your trust in the omniscient, omnipotent being that holds the universe together because there are things that you surely cannot control. 

  • Compromising Career 

Moving is part of being in a military family. According to research, military families relocate ten times more than civilian families.  For non-service spouses, maintaining a career with this setting is very difficult. You should accept that you have to put your job in the back burner and focus on your family for the time being. 

  • Making LDR Work 
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A lot of people say that a long-distance relationship does not work. But many military families are happily retired and have emerged successfully from being away for so long from their spouses. But actually, it is so much tougher than it looks. 

There will be days when you will crave your spouse’s embrace after a bad day. New Year’s midnight kiss and Christmas morning cuddles will be missed, sometimes for years at a time. 

These men and women are commendable with their perseverant spirits to endure all of these. But it is equally a struggle for those service members living overseas. 

Struggles Of A Deployed Military Personnel 

According to studies almost 20% of service members assigned in the Middle East experience mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.  Being away from your family is tough enough, and then you have to be in an unfamiliar country, stripped away of the basic comforts you enjoy at home. 

All your life, you have been training to serve the country. Maybe as a kid, you have always dreamed of being a soldier. You take pride that your job is one of the noblest professions and have already accepted the sacrifices that come with it. However, military training cannot turn you into a heartless person. There will be days when you go through rough patches and long for your family’s presence. 

Here are some of the experiences the military personnel go through after deployment: 

  • Missing The Special Days 

Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays usually pass by without your spouse and kids. It will get lonely, but you have to make the most of it. Typically, calls and emails are allowed during this time.  But the tangible presence of your significant other and children other is undoubtedly missed. 

  • Battling Existential Crisis 

Being in a war zone, you cannot help but think about when it is going to be your last day. However, more than thinking about yourself, you also worry about the people that you will leave behind. Although you know that your death will most likely be honorable, you are aware of how heartbroken your family is going to be when you are gone after being away from you for a long time. 

Source: flickr.com

 

  • Missing Being A Parent 

This one is probably the biggest regret of overseas military personnel. You will likely miss the firsts of your child, and maybe you will be recognized by your baby as “mommy” or “daddy” on the computer or phone screen where you talk a few times a month. As much as you want to be involved in the upbringing of your child, you can’t avoid feeling helpless because you are a thousand miles away. 

Having said this much, families who are thriving in this situation are remarkable. Being away from loved ones will surely take a toll on our emotional well-being, but it takes a steadfast heart and mind to endure all of these. 

On a final note, some organizations allow you to send support to military families by sending thank you letters to the deployed soldier. This appreciation will encourage them and help their emotional state. By this little act, we are also taking part in protecting the country by supporting our soldiers as they endure service without the comforts of their families. 

Underneath The Armor

What is a soldier?

 Soldiers are heroes.

Many would hold that soldiers are heroic and worthy of praise. It’s not difficult to see why. When people decide to join the army, they are making a conscious decision to leave their family and friends behind. They leave the comfort of their homes and go through rigorous, sometimes merciless, training sessions.

All for what? For their country, the nation, and the people who live in it. Once the training is done, they’re thrown into the heat of battle, where they risk their lives. They fight in the name of their country.

These men and women who sign up to fight in the army are making the ultimate sacrifice. Regardless of what side a soldier chooses, deciding to fight and possibly die for one’s country is a commendable act. It’s an act of putting others before oneself.

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Soldiers choose to dedicate their lives to their country, despite many other, possibly more convenient, options. That is certainly something worthy of praise–something heroic.

Soldiers are monsters.

Others hold that these people are monstrous and should be loathed. Their entry into the army is a free pass to kill. One could even say it’s their special skill to kill on command. Indeed, soldiers can murder those they barely know. It’s in the job description, after all.

In the heat of battle, there are only those who are with you and those who are against you. One must simply protect the former and shoot the latter. Faces and names don’t matter.

What’s more, these people could be fighting for all the wrong reasons. True, they did give up a lot when they decided to enter the army. But what good would that be if they were fighting for the wrong?

Source: businessinsider.com

Soldiers make themselves commodities–weapons that simply point and shoot. And there isn’t anything heroic about that.

Soldiers are humans.

We sometimes forget that these “heroes” or these “monsters” are just like us–human.

Underneath all the badges and armor is a colleague, a comrade-in-arms, and a brave fighter. Behind the war paint and the rugged exterior is a parent, a sibling, and a son or daughter. Look past the stern expression, the battle scars, and the intimidating aura. Underneath all that is a human.

Source: orderfirstworldwar.com

Humans can be heroes. They can choose to be altruistic and fight for the people of their country. They can choose to leave their lives behind for the sake of some greater good. And they can do things that are more than worthy of praise.

Humans are also fallible, able to make mistakes, like anyone else. This, however, does not make them monsters. When they fight for the wrong reasons, it’s not always their fault. Sometimes the blame falls on the higher-ups whose hearts are no longer in the right place. Yes, death is in the job description, but as sad as it seems, bloodshed is an inevitable consequence of war. Moreover, these men and women do not simply devolve into mindless, trigger-happy puppets. Many still have a choice in the matter. Many still listen to their conscience.

Soldiers are humans too. We mustn’t forget that.

Spreading Kindness And Appreciation

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“It is better to give than to receive.” An old cliche we often encounter in donation boxes, panhandlers, and even our friends. However, we would like to highlight another famous quotation saying, “give a man a fish and he will live for a day, but teach the man how to fish and he will live for the rest of his life.” We believe that kindness is a trend that never goes out of style. It is also vital that we realize that in paying forward and spreading kindness, it is not only shown in dole out or almsgiving. It is very helpful to society and mankind to take charge and be on the giving end.

Ways to say “Thank You!”

Kindness and appreciation are not only shown in the form of gifts or money. A thank you can also be shown by giving time to another person and sharing talents or information. Another gesture of gratefulness is by helping others in whatever way possible, no matter how big or small that gesture is.

Saying thank you in the form of gifts and surprises.

When picking gifts for the significant people in our lives such as family, relatives, and friends, we should take into consideration the things that these people value. It does not mean that if we like bags or clothes, these people want to receive the same gifts as well. Some people are happy with quality time over a good conversation and a cup of coffee. We must take into consideration the kind of gifts that actually make them happy and not just assume what they will like according to our standards.

Source: thebalance.com

Paying it forward by sharing your talents.

If you know how to play the guitar, maybe you can give free classes. Maybe you’re good at dancing or maybe you can organize a fundraising activity and give the proceeds to help send children to school. We are all created with unique characteristics which can make this world a better place.

Moreover, there are resources available online such as counseling and online therapy that can provide information and guidance regarding activities on how to show deep appreciation to others. May it be showing appreciation to the neighbor who lend a helping hand or a co-worker that helps you to get through a rough day. Participating in volunteer work can also be helpful. You can also contribute and allocate a portion of your income in stipends or give it to charitable institutions to aid their causes.

Source: appliedalliance.wordpress.com

It means a lot..so try it today

It has been said that life is a cycle of give and take, withdraw and deposit or we reap what we sow. The more acts of kindness we do for other people doesn’t mean that we expect them to return or reciprocate it.

Sometimes, the law of karma has its own way of dealing with things. If you give bread, do not expect bread in return from that person. Sometimes, the gift comes back to you in a different form. It could be your wish being granted or things that are not tangible and visible to the eye. Therefore, never stop paying it forward. You’ll never know that unkind person you touched today might pass the kindness on.

Easy Ways To Show Gratitude To Our Soldiers

In the past few years, I always try to be updated in every news that concerns my community and my country. It is my way to be a responsible citizen. However, these past few months have been really difficult, not only in the local community but also worldwide. The increasing number of news relating to terrorist attacks, the war on drugs, homeless refugees is really depressing to watch on a daily basis. That’s why it is hard for me to turn on the TV and watch the chaos going on all over the world.

If not for our brave soldiers, I wouldn’t be enjoying my delicious cup of white mocha in my favorite coffee shop right now. They deserve all the acknowledgment and appreciation for sacrificing their own lives to protect us. We all know that there will always be an outbreak of violence. But, having that assurance that they would always be there to protect us makes it easier to live by every single day. Therefore, if you know anyone who is in the military, it won’t hurt to give at least a small token of appreciation for all their sacrifices.

Source: unknownsoldiersblog.com

Here are some few tips that can help you to have an idea on how you can show your appreciation to our brave soldiers:

Smile and Acknowledge Their Deeds

You won’t definitely break a sweat by offering a sweet smile to your friend soldier. Smiling is the easiest way to show your gratitude for all the things that they are doing to protect the nation. Add up a simple acknowledgment and for sure, you can make their day brighter. Smiling and acknowledging their deeds would cost you zero penny. There’s really nothing left to lose.

Source: m.goarmy.com

Offer Them a Meal

Being a soldier is really tough. You do not know when would be the next ration of food will come, nor the next instance when you can spend time with your family. If you will have the opportunity to cook a meal for a soldier, don’t let it pass. I assure you that it would mean so much to them. A delicious meal nurtures the soul.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Give Them a Simple Thank You Letter

Nothing could go wrong with a simple letter. It is very simple, yet heartwarming. A thank you letter is also cheap and very easy to do. It doesn’t take a lot of time to write one. All you have to do is to write the letter from your heart. I’m pretty sure that a sincere thank you letter would make any soldier feel special. It is a small token you can give in return for their hard work.

Show Your Appreciation

How to show your appreciation? This has fast become a sought-after answer to this question simply because everyone wants to give something back to the military and those who have helped them. However, showing your appreciation can be tough for thousands as they really don’t know what is suitable. What do you think offers a token of appreciation? Well, to be honest, it can be hard because you have hundreds of amazing options to consider. There are a few options, however, that might prove to be extremely useful and if you want to know more, read on. You might be surprised at what you find.

Source:media.defense.gov

Give Something Back

It’s hard to know how to show your appreciation or what to do because you can honestly feel lost and unsure. However, there are many good military charities that help former soldiers and those who have been hurt in the line of duty and are in constant need of contributions. They can be ideal and something that can show your appreciation. Now, giving a donation to a military charity can be the perfect way to offer something back too. When you want to offer something back you can offer a small donation which can be greatly needed. Show your appreciation today.

Offer Time to Local Military Charities

Showing your appreciation can be extremely tough simply because no matter what you do, you feel as though it’s not enough. However, if you are stuck as to how to show your appreciation you could consider volunteering. Now, offering time to a local military charity can be extremely important and a great way to show your appreciation. This can make you feel better about yourself as well as give something back too. It’s a useful option to consider and something you will enjoy too.

Write a Thank-You Letter

If you want to show your appreciation, why not write a thank-you letter? This can be far more heartwarming and appreciated than many other thank-you gifts. It might not seem a great deal of effort but it can be worth so much more than you think. A simple thank you letter can say so much to someone and it really makes a big difference too. Writing a letter doesn’t need to be pages long, a brief thank you and a few words, that is all that’s needed. You can opt for a short message that means something to you and once you have written it and are happy with it, you can send away. Read more news from here.

Small Appreciation Can Mean More

Showing even a small token of appreciation can be extremely good and it can put your mind at ease knowing you’ve played your part. Yes, you might think something small as a thank you note or a donation to a local charity isn’t much but it is a lot and means so much to so many. No matter how little the show of appreciation is, it can mean so much. That is important to remember simply because nothing is too small. Show your appreciation in your own way.

Thank A Soldier

Have you ever wanted to thank a soldier but haven’t been sure how to say it? You are not alone. Right now, thousands of people want to thank soldiers for the hard work they do in protecting them but just aren’t sure what to say it. It can be hard to know what soldiers regard as special thank-you gifts because what do you get a soldier to say thanks? Sometimes, something simple and well-meaning can be more precious than anything else.

Have You Ever Thought About A Care Package?

Soldiers in the field and those returning home after a long tour duty may like something as simple as a care package. Now, care packages can be wonderful and a simple thank-you for a soldier too. Soldiers always need little things when they’re out away from home, deployed overseas and this is your chance to offer them a little comfort of home. This is how you can thank a soldier and they really will appreciate it. In all honesty, it isn’t much but to a soldier, it means so much.

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A Letter Can Mean So Much

For many, they see a thank you note or letter as a crummy way to thank a soldier and yet it can be very memorable. Soldiers don’t want fancy cars or indeed their faces splashed across the internet, they are doing their job and sometimes a letter is what they want. Yes, it’s nothing too fancy, it’s a plain thing—a simple letter—but it’s the one thing that could actually spark something very personal inside. You can put down in words your feelings and thanks and you may find it’s easier to write than to say or express in gift form. Soldiers who receive letters or even a personal video message can be touched by that and it’s a “thanks” well appreciated. Get other info coming from here.

Raise Money for Military Charities

Have you thought about other ways in which you can thank a soldier? Remember, they are members of the armed forces and as such there are thousands of servicemen and women who require help after they leave the forces and when they are hurt. It could be a wise move to donate or look into raising money for a military charity. There are many good charities that help soldiers and those recovering from injuries and are always in desperate need of finances. This could be your chance to give something back and offer a small token to the cause. It really can be a useful and very simple solution to consider and what better way to thank a soldier than to raise money for the military and their families? It’s a very special thank you to give.

Give Thanks

Soldiers put their lives on the line each and every day and their work makes a real difference to everyday life back home. Saying thanks can be an amazing way to give back something to say how much appreciated they are and thanks for the good work they do. However, thanking a soldier troubles most because they don’t know how to do it. The above are just a few ideas that may prove to be useful. Thank a soldier in your own way.

One Act Of Gratitude At A Time

Have you ever had that one person in your life who has always been genuinely kind to you? Maybe it’s your family, a neighbor, a gym buddy, an officemate, or sometimes, just a random stranger.  It could be anyone around you. In this world where bad news is all over the news, I believe there is still that one person who can still show kindness to anyone. It does not have to be grand, even a simple act of kindness can make a BIG change, maybe not to the world, but maybe to someone else’ s life.

Whenever we meet someone who shows us random act of kindness, some people cannot help but think of ways on how to reciprocate it.  And sometimes, we find ourselves lost for ideas. We want to show them gratitude, but we just don’t know how.

 There are actually a lot of ways to show gratitude and appreciation. These things do not always have to be magnificent and monumental.  You can give or do something for those people you feel grateful for something simple, yet personal.

Source: rodalesorganiclife.com

To give you an idea on how to show gratitude, below are the list of the things you can do:

Make a Letter

 A handwritten note or letter goes a long way. Don’t be bothered by your bad handwriting; what’s more important is the effort that you put into it and your sincerity, as well. With technologically advanced gadgets, you will seldom find someone who will write you a letter. With all the devices that made our life easier and faster, many will find writing a letter a strenuous activity. So, writing even just a simple thank you note or letter makes it just more personal. The person whom you will give it to will surely appreciate the gesture.

Spend Quality Time with Them

Sometimes the best way to show someone how much you value or appreciate them is by simply spending time with that person. It only shows that you want to be with them. Think about this, you are actually spending your well-deserved vacation leave or maybe your most awaited weekend after a long week at work with this person.  A lot of people value the quality of time you share with them, and that is one way to thank that person even without you saying it.

Maybe, you can also help back in return? Help out that person in any way you can especially when he needs it the most.  Or maybe you can offer help, like perform simple house chores or assist in house celebrations.

Source: nlkamper.blogspot.com

Just Say It!

When someone makes you feel good or does something nice for you, you always say “Thank You!”. Be sincere and thank that someone, a much better way to say it is to be specific like “Thank You for helping me out today, without your help I don’t think I could’ve done it.“ and end it with your big bright smile.

Give a Gift

Okay, giving gifts doesn’t have to be expensive. A simple token of appreciation is good enough. It is just your simple way of showing how grateful you are to that person. A gift may also mean cooking for them. Try to cook their favorite dish or dessert, maybe? Well, if you do not have the magical talent in cooking, just buy burgers or cake on your way to that person. They will still appreciate it because you remembered.

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Treat Them

If your budget can afford it, why not treat that person for a pedicure or maybe, a body massage? If you do not want to spend, you can also treat them by doing things for them that you know very well they hate to do. They will surely be grateful.  You can also think of inviting them to a place or something they always wanted to see, yet they do not have time or money for it. These are just one of the many things you can do to show people how you appreciate and value them. It will make them feel important and empowered. Reciprocating kindness for one person at a time can make a difference in the world. It may not seem to look  that much, but someday it will be.

Military Appreciation

The military does so much for us. The armed forces are out on the front lines putting their lives on the line each and every day and it’s truly moving how they fight for their country and the safety of others. Sometimes, the armed forces are deployed overseas and protecting others throughout the world that have no one protecting them; it’s fantastic work and something no one should forget. Showing appreciation to the military is very important and something everyone should do.

Source: vaguard.dodlive.mil

What Is Military Appreciation Day?

You probably heard of the Military Appreciation Day but, if not, this is a day which is chosen to honor the work of the current service men and women globally. The event can also be used to help show appreciation to those who have also served their time in the forces. However, this is such a widely loved event simply because it is showing great appreciation to those who have put their lives on the line and it’s a wonderful event really.

How to Do Your Part?

If you want to become involved you could look into volunteering for some local events. Volunteering can be an excellent way to give back to those who have served their country and there are many opportunities for you to look into. However, if you aren’t able to volunteer on Military Appreciation Day you could still volunteer at a charitable organization which helps former soldiers and military service personnel. This would really be a nice thing to do and in all honesty, a lot of charities need some help as they don’t often get the funds they need. Doing your part can really be a good way to say thanks and to show your appreciation.

Offering a Care Package or Donation to Charity Can Be Good

Sometimes, it’s not easy to know how to show your appreciation and, for some, volunteering doesn’t become an option for them but there are still many good ways to show your appreciation this year. For example, you could arrange for a nice care package to be sent to a current service person of the armed forces. There are certain organizations who arrange care packages for soldiers overseas and this would be something that offers a little reminder of home. It also shows you care and it’s something that really is appreciated. What’s more, a small donation to charity for armed personnel can be great too. Every little helps when it comes to the armed forces and your contribution might not be big financially but it is big in many other ways. Also, it’s appreciated by all. See it from here.

Show Appreciation in Your Own Way

If you have a personal way to show your appreciation to the military, why not do it as it will mean so much to so many? In truth, military appreciation doesn’t always have to come in the form of money or care packages but rather a letter of thanks or just turning up to support a military parade. Any little show of appreciation is wanted and needed. What’s more, it is very much appreciated. Show your appreciation today.

Why Is It Important To Say Thank You?

Source: mer-cury.com

Why is it important to say thank you?

The question may be off to you. Or you might think, where is this leading to? Simple. I’m just asking why do we need to say thank you? Does it matter much? Let’s examine some important discussions.

“What? No thank you?!”

Over a month ago, I was chatting with this lady online and we were trading stories about hobbies and collections. I openly shared that I am a collector of Starbucks City Mugs. She also claimed the same thing. Gaining affinity to her, I decided to send her three City Mugs that I have as double pieces and no longer need anyway.

I was hoping to hear back from her online stating that she received the package, but to my dismay, I never got one. I sent her emails following up and checking up on her to see if maybe she got sick or god-knows-what happened to her. But really, I did not receive an acknowledgment nor a thank you note from her. What would you feel if you were in my situation?

Source: freefunder.com

Well, maybe you will blame me for trusting a person I only met online and sent out a package to her instantly, so this just suits me. Nonetheless, the point of the matter here is the good manner of showing appreciation to the deed. Just by saying “Thank you,” it can really go a long way.

Powerful words

“Thank you” are powerful words that can move us to do more positive things or simply increase our self-esteem. When somebody says ‘thank you’ to you for a simple act that you did for them, the feeling of being appreciated and that sense of importance is overwhelming.

In the corporate world, being recognized for your hard work is seldom shown. Maybe because the big bosses do not want to be intimidated by your pro-activity or smartness in your work. Sadly, this culture still continues to exist. Employees sometimes find it disheartening that their best work is not taken seriously. Under-appreciation is mostly the name of the game. By this, productiveness and the success of employees sometimes suffer along with it.

Psychologists support the idea that by saying ‘thank you’ to a person, the dramatic change of motivating and inspiring to do more good things are significant. In children, we can easily detect or see in their behavior that there is increased self-confidence. However, it’s quite difficult to see this in adults. Nonetheless, we are already creating a positive psychological drive to do more prosocial behavior in the future.

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