What It’s Like

April 30, 2014

In honor of the Month of the Military Child, the MFAN advisors asked their children to write about their experiences growing up in a military family.  Eleven-year-old Joey Kimball and nine-year-old Gracie Kimball, son and daughter of MFAN advisor Shelley Kimball, wrote the following posts to round out our series. Here’s what they had to say:

It’s kind of tough to be a military kid because sometimes your parent has to be away, like my Dad who is in the Coast Guard. This makes me feel kind of lonely without my dad.

The positive thing is that you know that he is doing the right thing by protecting our country and flying out to save people who in life or death situations. So I am grateful to be given this chance for life as a military kid.

Most of the time he is away I feel scared that something might happen to him [while he] is out doing his duty to the country. I worry for him every night he is away on a night flight or long trip. I sometimes wish that he did not have to go out on these long operations. But these trips help make our lives better and they help society.

Other military kids have to deal with these situations, as well.  Some have to wait almost an entire year to see their parent. For some kids it is very heartbreaking to see their parent go on deployment. They long for their parent to come home unharmed. I hope that their parent will safely return for a reunion with the rest of their family because they miss them.

So, all military kids have their good and bad moments in their lives, but being a military kid has special privileges. Knowing your parent is protecting America by stopping drug traffickers and making sure everyone is safe down the coastlines. I have a lot of friends that feel the same way I do. So, in all I am happy being a military kid.

– Joey Kimball, age 11

MFAN_Kimball Kids Photo
Gracie and Joey Kimball

To start out, I think it is kind of tough being a military child. I say it’s hard because I have to stay in one place for 3 years and then move. It is also tough because when I was a very little kid I had a best friend that was like a sister to me and when I moved my heart was broken for a very long time. Even when my dad deploys I start crying the first few days. It is also the same with my mom, when she leaves I have a hard time.

Plus when I leave friends that live in the old State, I meet new friends in the new State. I like to Skype the friends who are in the other state from where I came from. For example, I Skype my friend Anna Grace, who was the sister that I was talking about earlier.  There are two friends that I live near right now and I plan to Skype or send letter to them after they move to Germany and Canada. And those two friends are military kids like me – one is dad is in the Army, and the other is in the Canadian Army.

I think it is also good to be a military child. I say that because I get to go to events that other kids can’t. I go to Blue Star Families Books on Bases events, and I go to Coast Guard Day, which is the celebration of the U.S. Coast Guard. 

My dad is the commanding officer of Air Station Miami. He talks a lot about my brother, Joey, and I.  So at every special Coast Guard occasion, I end up having new friends. I feel that if I have more friends that are in the Coast Guard, more of them won’t feel left out. 

And that’s all about me and how I feel about being a military child.

– Gracie Kimball, age 9