Being a military brat has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I wouldn't change my experience for the world. I was born in Texas to two active duty parents, both working through their residency in the Army. Yet, shortly after I was born, my dad was deployed overseas to Germany. Since then, I have moved six more times and been given the gift of a little brother.

The opportunities that I have received through this lifestyle are incredibly memorable, and the life that I have lived has taught me so much. People assume that the life of a military child is terrible and difficult, and they are right, but only about one. The military lifestyle is hard, but I know the skills that I have learned and the experiences that I have had will remain with me throughout my life.

It saddens me to say that I have lived in places where people cannot imagine joining the military and giving back to their country. I have been denied the use of my military ID as a valid ID and been rejected from receiving a military discount. Yet, I have been to over twenty countries on three continents before the age of 13, and I have met people all over the world.

The long hours that my dad pulls and the constant uprooting of my life with little notice are some of my least favorite parts of being a military brat. Yet, my dad is my hero and role model, and I cannot imagine living a life in which he is a traditional 8 am to 5 pm father who comes home at the same time and carries out the same tasks every day.

My father is the strongest, most amazing person I have ever had the privilege to know, and the lessons that he has taught me for the past nineteen years are unforgettable. I truly cannot explain how important he is, and how much he means to me. I am so incredibly thankful for the service that my dad, my mom, and other soldiers have given. The training and service are hard, but you help keep our country safe and ensure that we are prepared for anything that may come our way.

Of the over 300 million people living in the United States, less than 1.3 million are active duty troops, yet the contributions of the soldiers who dedicate their lives to serving in the military are unmatchable.

After college, I am considering joining the military to give back to the community that has been a part of my life since before I was born. The challenges and training that come from becoming an active duty soldier are hard, but the dedication to serving my country will make it worth it.

Being a military brat is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I intend to give hold onto the lifestyle for as long as I can. The travel, the experiences and the lessons have taught me so much more than living in a home could, and I cannot explain how thankful I am to have grown up and lived the life that I have as a military brat.