Month of the Military Child
In my world, I learned very young what it meant to be dutiful, to sacrifice, and to be patriotic. The critical points of my childhood memories are of my mother, my brother, and I as my father was deployed for months on end to places too far and too dangerous. I aged in years when my father kissed me on the forehead and told me to take care of my mother and brother. I built character under the pressure to not disappoint my father or make life harder for my suddenly single mother, rising up to the responsibilities and independence of the eldest child.
My world belongs to a subculture of Americans whose fears for their service members are lesser to their duty to support and protect the family, who are defined by a resilient spunkiness peculiar to whose lives have been distinguished by their life as a military child. My world belongs to the children of soldiers who are raised by heroes that have sacrificed an ordinary life to preserve the freedom of our country.
My world is a unique journey of experiences spanning the deep south of Georgia, to explorations of Europe from the southern forests of Germany, to a privileged lifestyle in the suburbs of Philadelphia, into a simple life on the central coast of California, and recently reinvented in Okinawa, Japan where I will graduate from high school. I have been nurtured by positive and diverse environments, histories, and cultures that have enabled me to grow into a person with a flair for the adventurous and spontaneous. I have also become someone of complexity, independence, and maturity to reflect the nature of my upbringing. In my world, success is measured by my ability to adapt and coexist in every new environment, harnessing the strength I inherited from my parents.
Behind my military heritage is the history of a first generation Filipino American. From childhood, my parents opened my eyes to the beauty and opportunity of a world they had dreamed of seeing as children in the provinces of the Philippines. My father joined the military to equalize the playing field for his future and my parents struggled to speak English at home to prevent their children from being disadvantaged in school. Through the military, my family was given the opportunity to be successful in a new country, with a new start.
My world has shaped my dreams and aspirations by making me aware of the huge diversity of people and cultures on the planet, by making me a stronger person, and by making my family an unwavering foundation. This is my pride in my military heritage, and as my father has lived a career of service, I am also dedicated to pursuing a career that emulates his commitment to serve others and I am filled with the desire to continue to experience the world and fully realize my parent’s dreams of opportunity for me.