By Elaine Sanchez
April 1, 2013
In honor of April’s Month of the Military Child, I created a Top 10 list of the qualities I most appreciate about children from military families. Their amazing service and sacrifice deserve a much longer list, but I figured this would at least be a start.
The top 10 reasons I admire military children:
10. Their sense of humor. Military kids do all they can to keep their spirits up. Some carry life-sized cardboard posters of parents called “Flat Daddies” and “Flat Mommies” to keep deployed loved ones close at hand. They carry them to pizza parties and movies, sporting events and concerts. During a past deployment, military wife Vivian Greentree’s sons took it a step further. They pasted pictures of their deployed dad on a stick, dubbed it a “dad on a stick” and took it everywhere with them. They even asked their “dad” to help them make macaroni and cheese.
9. They selflessly serve their community. Military children possess a strong sense of service — perhaps modeled after their military parents who serve and sacrifice daily. A shining example is last year’s Army Military Child of the Year, Amelia McConnell. Soon after her father returned from Iraq in 2006, he was diagnosed with leukemia. After treatment, he redeployed to Iraq in 2007. In 2009, her only brother, Sgt. Andrew McConnell, was killed in Afghanistan. Still, Amelia excelled in school and in sports, and volunteered hundreds of hours a year for a number of organizations. When asked why she does so much, she said, “I always think there are a lot of people in worse situations than I am.”
8. They stand by their military parent through thick and thin. I met a high school senior several years ago who told me his father would miss his graduation and his departure to college. But this teen wasn’t upset in the least. “He loves to be a soldier, and if it makes him happy, it makes me happy,” he said. “How can I possibly complain that he’s not watching me graduate when he’s out there sacrificing for our nation.”