My Military Experience

by Michael Santos
Humphreys Middle School

My entire life has been military connected and there have been some uphill climbs with many obstacles and slopes so easy to ride down. When military connected sometimes I have to move a lot. It can be an adventure exploring new lands I have never been to. I may go places other Americans never get to go in their lifetime. Other times it feels terrible leaving friends behind and it feels like I have just left behind a family member. However, this wound heals quickly in most cases. I have always enjoyed moving around the Pacific and sometimes there are activities or privileges I have that other people don't.

First of all DoDEA provides the education that every student, not only me, needs. Before moving overseas I was worried that I had to go to a foreign school and learn a new language. What I feared most was not being able to make friends. Without friends I feel like I live on another planet, alone. DoDEA however made me feel a whole lot better when I attended their schools.

When traveling around so much I experience different cultures that you may never have dreamed of before. Living in Korea made me walk around more, to taste the Korean foods, learn some Korean, and visit Korean landmarks. The same thing happened when I lived in Okinawa. When I was in Okinawa, there was a park not that far from where I lived off base. My friends and I would go there almost everyday to play soccer, tag, or just hangout. While playing soccer, sometimes we play soccer games with Japanese kids. When playing you see a different type of play, tactics that are different than what you learned. In Korea the kids rely more on speed and passing. When playing soccer I had to make that adjustment when I moved to Korea.

Since I'm military connected I get some privileges when traveling or moving. I can take military flights when going from base to base when taking a vacation. For instance, since a lot of my family lives in Guam and the Philippines it is easier for us to visit each other in Korea than in Indiana. It helps us stay connected to family.

Being a military child isn't always what you want, but it always works out in the end.

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