My life has been shaped by military service, even though I’ve never served in the armed forces myself.
Before I was born, my father served in Vietnam in the Marine Corps. By the time I was born, he had joined the Navy and had just completed his training at AOCS (Aviation Officer Candidate School).
During my childhood, we lived on air bases and in family housing while my dad was at the Naval Postgraduate School. My dad was deployed on cruise for six to ten months at a time. Our family relocated about every three years, which was much less often than a lot of military families. My dad retired from the Navy around the time I graduated high school.
There were unique benefits and no small amount of pride that came with being part of a Navy family, but there were also significant challenges.
Every Veterans Day, I think not only of the servicemembers who have been willing to give their lives for our country, but also of their families. While their husbands, wives, and children may never serve in the military themselves, their sacrifice is also great.
You can find opportunities in your area to help veterans, active duty servicemembers, and their families at http://www.serve.gov/families.asp.