The Resilience of a Military Child

April is the Month of the Military Child. It’s the month that we celebrate the more than 1.6 million military children and the unique experiences and challenges that they face.

I know firsthand that a military child is resilient, dependable, adaptable, kind, and patient.

My Military Child

In the first two years of my firstborn son’s life, my husband was only home for 11 to 12 months of it.

He quickly got used to his dad being gone and missing major events in his young life.

Then my sweet boy made his first move when he was just six weeks old. He was born in California, but he spent more time in Hawaii, Virginia, and now North Dakota.

Resilience of a Military Child

The first time he said goodbye to his dad was when he was three months old, and that was not the last time.

You could see the little difference in his behavior (even as a baby) between when my husband was gone and when he was home.

When my husband was gone, he was confused. I could tell he was trying so hard to understand that his other person was gone.

His little brain could not fathom how long that separation would be for, or why his heart felt a certain way. It’s a wonder how he did it, but he pushed through each time my husband left. Whether dad was gone for one week or seven months, he found a way to live life to the fullest.

Then when my husband returned home, my son would pick up from where they left off. There was always the initial readjustment, the whole reacquainting as our whole family got back into the norm of being together again. But he would then jump right back into his silly, joyful, and loving self and goof around with dad.

Dependability of a Military Child

For family, he had me and the friends I made along the way. Yet he laughed like nothing was missing and took to anyone he met.

When my husband was gone, my son brightened my days and eased my loneliness.

The adventurer in him was born when I took him to the secret spots of Oahu and the coffee shops of Virginia beach. We even got on planes and flew around the world — he just went along with it.

He learned to play by himself when I was busy. And he sought to put a smile on my face on days when it felt like my heart was too weak to deal with the separation from my husband.

I’m so glad that he was strong, he made me strong.

Adaptability of a Military Child

He saw his best friend daily for two years when we lived in Hawaii, until we left the island in 2021.

I cried for him and the friendship he had to leave behind that his little brain could not understand. But he never let that stop him from making new friends.

He has lived in a variety of climates. And he has not once complained about the humid summers in Virginia Beach, or the heat of Oahu, or the cold of North Dakota. He is able to thrive in all situations.

It always made me laugh at how quickly he was able to find his new favorite thing in each place.

What We Can Learn from a Military Child

Many military kids are born into this, or had to dive headfirst into this lifestyle and experience it all the way to adulthood.

Home is never one place, but wherever the military moves them.

They can never tell you if they will be in school the next year, or month. They don’t know if dad would be able to make it to graduations, games, or recitals.

Yet, if you met a military child, you wouldn’t even know it. They’ve adapted and they’re so strong. They know that even though life can change in an instant, to appreciate each day as it comes. Just like with their service member parent(s), they may lose a moment if they don’t grab a hold of it, and if they aren’t flexible they will get disappointed.

Life Lessons from a Military Child

1) Start living your life in the present.

2) When changes come your way, roll with it.

Celebrate each moment of life, along with all the changes that will inevitably come.

That is why we celebrate every military child this month. Happy Military Child Month!

To learn more about military children and how to help, see Month of the Military Child:How YOU Can Honor Families.
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Jocelyn Friskop
Jocelyn Friskop was born in Singapore and moved to San Diego, CA, after college. In 2016, she met a handsome Marine Aviator from Wahpeton, ND. They got married in 2018 in Fargo. As a mom of 2 boys, born in 2019 and 2021, she is familiar with the challenges faced by stay-at-home moms and working moms. During her time as a military spouse, Jocelyn lived in San Diego, Oahu and Virginia Beach. After her husband got out of the military in 2022, they moved to North Dakota. She wears many hats - Mom, Farmer's wife, and Design Engineer. Over the weekend, you can find her exploring Fargo, updating her home, hanging out with friends, volunteering at Northbrew Coffee or attending Northview Church!


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