Thursday, April 08, 2010

My Military Children

It's month of the Military child and there are news stories, websites and many other things out t here talking about it. I want to talk about our amazing Army children.

I don't know if I can convey in words what examples our boys are to us. You hear so much about the spouses waiting at home, serving in the silent ranks and all of that, but to me, my kids are so much stronger. They serve, they endure, they just do what they need to do. It doesn't mean they aren't affected.

Michael, Neil and Daniel were born into this lifestyle, they have never known anything outside of uniforms, combat boots, military vehicles and lots of camouflage. They have lived in many different states and even in another country. They have said too many goodbyes and experienced amazing hellos. They have attended many schools, gone through many friends and visited many museums (our family loves Military museums). They soak in as much experience and opportunity as they can. I admit that I have often wondered if this lifestyle has harmed them in some way but looking at the boys, I have to say that I don't think so. They are amazing, well rounded, resilient little men.

They have had to endure a lot but I am amazed at how well they do. The spirit they bring and the things they accomplish. I am in awe of their strength and their coping skills.

When my oldest son (now 14), was 11 and his dad was in Iraq, I found him snuggled under his blankets crying softly. When I asked him what was wrong he said simply, "I just miss my dad, sometimes it makes me cry." It broke my heart, yet still gave me relief that he was releasing those emotions.

It doesn't matter where or for how long our Soldier is gone, every goodbye is filled with emotion. While I dislike to see my children hurt, I admit that the tears are comforting because it shows the deep love they have for their father.

The boys don't sit around moping though, no, they get up and do what they need to do. When their grief is too much, they come to me for comfort, we cuddle, we snuggle, we talk and then they move on.

I am amazed at their endurance. They turn what some think is a bad thing and turn it into a positive. Michael did a service project where he collected over 1800 beanie babies for his dad to hand out in Iraq. Daniel constantly wrote letters and drew pictures to show his love and support. Neil helped both his brothers but I admit, he mostly helped me with his assurance of our Lord's love and his confidence that all would be well. Even at the tender age of 9, he didn't mince words, he knew their was a chance his daddy wouldn't come home but he knew, because of our bond, all would be well regardless.

Our boys know the reality of war. They have friends who have lost their fathers. They have memories of playing in our front yards with other kids and their dads and then hearing that those dads aren't coming home. They know Soldiers who have lost their limbs, they don't stare, they smile, they laugh and they play with them. We have visited older Veterans and I am so proud of my boys for not backing away, letting them hug them and kiss their cheeks. They understand the price that has been paid for their Freedom.

I love that the boys carry a sense of pride that cannot be defined in words. Their daddy is a Soldier and with that comes much sacrifice, not just from him, but from the entire family. I rely on the example of these three young boys the Lord has blessed me with to help carry me through.

In April, we honor our Military Children. But I have to be honest, I honor and admire my special Military Children every single day.


John, Heather, Emma, Lily & Baby#3 said...

Breathtaking post - amazing young military BRATS and Godly men. Well done Nadine and Kevin!

Southern Belle said...

What a great tribute to your boys! They are lucky to have you both as parents. That first picture is ADORABLE!

hjsmith said...

Hey girl. I love your BLOG. It is amazing. Sure miss you. A friend of mine sent your site to me. I will have to ask her how she knows you(: Hope you and your wonderful family are doing great. Please keep in touch when you have a moment(: I love the pictures of the boys and all of you(:

trooppetrie said...

cute pictures, we have never had army pictures taken of our children but i have always wanted to

MyArmyLife said...

Nadine, this is a beautiful post. I am constantly amazed at the resiliency, strength, courage, and independence of our Army kids. The photos are ADORABLE and these are obviously some lucky kids to have such fabulous parents! =)

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

What a beautiful post and an awesome tribute to these strong kids. :*)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I don't have children yet, but I can only hope our Army brats will be as strong and resilient as yours seem to be! Beautiful children!

Life of an Army Wife said...

I know I could never imagine my children's lives as Army Brats. That is the way that my husband and I never grew up. Both of us always had both sets of parents around. Now, being married to my husband and having 3 children, he has been deployed 4 times,I could see how the Army life could also be hard on your children to being separated at times from daddy.