Military kids are a special kind of people. We've lived in different countries, met people from all over the world, but still don't know how to answer basic questions about our childhood. Even though we all have a different story, almost every military kid can relate to these points.
1. Not knowing what to say when someone asks you where you're from.
We've moved around so much that sometimes, we forget to answer that question in complete English.
2. Having friends from all around the world.
Because of moving so much, we leave old friends behind for them to move again. You might leave them in Berlin, but in a few months, they'll be in Iwakuni.
3. Moving. all. the. time.
My family just stopped unpacking everything after a while. Some of our stuff would just stay in boxes until our next move.
4. Being able to speak 6 basic words in 6 different languages.
Buenos días. Ohayōgozaimasu. Guten Morgen.
5. Operation Purple Camps.
This is why we really look forward to summer.
6. Grocery shopping at the commissary instead of Food Lion or Walmart.
7. Standing for the National Anthem before movies.
Civilian families really don't understand this one.
8. Being the new kid so often it doesn't even phase you anymore.
We just walk in and sit where we please.
9. Packing and unpacking your stuff like a pro.
Unpacking is like Christmas morning except you already own the stuff you're unwrapping.
10. Passports filled with stamps from all over the world.
11. Stalking old houses on Google Maps.
And trying to remember all of your addresses.
12. Sleeping on airport floors is no big deal.
Just find the cleanest spot next to a charger.
13. Your mom scrapbooks everything.
You don't remember being a cheerleader and peeing yourself on the floor? Oh, mom has a picture.
14. Being scared out of your wits when you lose your ID.
When you don't know what you're scared of more, your parent's reaction or getting a new ID picture taken.
15. Those weird commercials that come on TV.
AFN doesn't mess around when it comes to typhoons and tsunamis.
16. Using your new neighbors moving boxes to make forts with their kids.
That's how lifelong friendships were made.
17. Having to stop wherever you are for Taps.
Stop, turn and face the flag or the direction of the noise, put your hand over your heart, and don't say a word.
18. NEVER looking good in your ID picture.
They get described as and look like many different things: crackheads, ghosts, raging alcoholic, you name it.
19. That amazing feeling when you find one of your childhood friends on social media and they remember you.
It's always an amazing feeling finding that one friend you almost forgot about from school on social media.
20. Learning military time.
"I have to be there at one." "AM???" *sigh* "1300."
21. Going to the youth and teen centers after school.
This is the other place friends would meet.
22. Making welcome home signs for a deployed parent/family friend.
This was always family bonding time. All the excitement of their return home would make an entire neighborhood happy.
No matter where you've been or lived, there will always be someone that can relate to your struggle. Being a part of a military family is hard, but with the help of some friends, it's not as bad as it seems.