My dad served in the navy for 23 years and is now retired. I'm grateful for his service and how it has shaped the person I am today.

1. The ability to live in unique places

My brother and I visiting our old house in Sicily

Megan Adair

I have 4 siblings and we were all born in different states! The best place we've ever lived is Sicily, which is also where I was born. People are always shocked when I say I was born out of the country. From what I remember about living in Sicily, it was amazing. Last summer, we were able to return there for the first time in 13 years and we even visited our old house.

2. You learn to cherish each moment

My dad was deployed for months at a time so whenever he was home, we would all cherish our time together. A big lesson I've learned from my experiences in life is to not take anything for granted. In a way, his deployment brought my family closer together.

3. You learn independence at a young age

When my dad was deployed, it was just my mom taking care of us 5 kids. I became a very independent child which I'm grateful for today. Independence is needed to be a successful student and to start taking care of yourself so I'm happy I developed mine at an earlier age.

4. Improvement in your social skills

In my early childhood, we moved around a lot. Starting in Sicily then to North Carolina then back to Sicily then to Maryland where my dad eventually retired. All the moves meant constantly having to make new friends at each location. With each move, it got easier to make friends and looking back, I feel like I developed good social skills from this.

5. Having a military I.D.

Tripadvisor

There are many perks to having a military I.D. Many stores gives military discounts. In Maryland, we live near the Naval Academy so when we go every Sunday for church, we are able to park on base instead of having to walk on like everyone else.

6. You're eligible for several scholarships

Megan Adair

One of my scholarships that I have right now and a couple that I'm in the process of applying for are military scholarships. For someone who is dependent on scholarships, it's nice that they have a whole category set aside that you're eligible for.

7. Living on a military base

This might not seem like a perk to some but I find military bases fascinating. You have everything you could possibly need within footsteps. The houses are so close together but that only means you'll know all your neighbors well and make new friends from them. My family is still in touch with our old neighbors from Sicily.

8. You become used to change

It's very common for people to not like change but life is full of changes! Being exposed to several changes as a kid has definitely helped me become quick to adjust. I now look at change as a positive thing that brings new opportunities.

9. The commissary and navy exchange

The commissary and navy exchange are stores requiring a military I.D. to shop at. The commissary is a grocery store which usually has groceries for cheaper than normal. The navy exchange is a store that pretty much has everything (clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc.) The items are usually discounted too.

I definitely have a greater appreciation and understanding of the military from my dad's service. I'm grateful to be the daughter of a veteran.