Today, I was thinking about my dad whom I call, “Reginald”.
He’s leaving for another deployment this year after being in the military for over 30 years. He’s also turning 50 this year, so 2015 is a big year for him. I would post a picture of him, but he doesn’t like his pictures posted online; it’s a safety precaution. I’ve always been proud of my dad though, and to me he has always been one of my biggest heroes if not the biggest.
So, what was it like for me? Well, I can definitely say I was a blessed military brat. One thing that separates me from all the rest is that I never had to move. At all. No one really knows that I am a daughter of a soldier unless I bring it up. That’s crazy, right?!
At the same time, my dad was gone a lot especially when my little brother was growing up. He was gone quite a bit through my young pubescent teens which really didn’t make me different from all the other teenagers who didn’t have a father in the picture. Something that I had always longed for though was a friend that understood, a friend that was going through the same thing that my siblings and I were going through. I wanted a friend I could talk to that also had a military parent that was gone. I knew no one.
It wasn’t until I went into high school that someone finally came along and understood. I’ll call her and her sister V and A.
I met them at church one day after seeing that they were all alone and new to the area. We instantly clicked and I came to learn that they were also going to attend the high school my twin sister and I were attending. I remember V’s first day of school: I showed her around, I brought her to her classes, and I invited her to have lunch with my sister and I (and all our friends). I asked where she was from, and she proceeds to tell me that her dad is in the military so they move a lot. Boom. God gave me that gift. God gave me the gift of an understanding friend, a friend that knew what it was like wondering if your dad was going to come home or not, a friend that also missed her dad whenever he left, a friend that prayed for their family to push through the trial. We later came to the realization that our dads were at one point deployed together! TRIPPY.
Our world is small and God is good guys. My dad and all military service personnel are all blessings that I pray people would take the time to thank. And I thank God for bringing me V and A during a time of uncertainty and a time of longing.
For those that miss their loved ones and need support, just know that there are people out there and if you ever need it, I’ll be here. This military brat isn’t going anywhere.