April Marks the Month of the Military Child

Photo+Courtesy+of+FCPS

Photo Courtesy of FCPS

April 2021 opened up to welcome those from families of the armed forces in FCPS, who have spent a large portion of their lives overseas, constantly moving around the globe, or with an absence of a family member. 

According to FCPS, up to 500 military students countywide have attended and have been admitted to FCPS schools in the past year, with many of these students bringing valuable lessons, experiences and cultures to the table and introducing them to those who have not had the journey or experiences they had.

“Many can relate to the experiences of being a child of a service member(s) as moving a lot, living in cool places, etc,” said veteran Mr. Rosebrock. “But something that often gets overlooked is parents being gone for long periods of time. Most kids don’t ever get to experience this, while military families will have parents leave for weeks, months and even years, causing a ripple effect in the family, and the student who has to adapt to the absence of someone they love and rely on.”

As military kids get older, they begin to realize that the going away of their loved ones is all part of the job and even calls for a more solidified relationship as a family when reunited.

“It hurts, I’ll be honest,” said senior Ethan Crane, a former FCPS student. “Sometimes parents aren’t there for major events in your life, they go away at a moment’s notice. My dad last year had to go to Germany for two weeks all of a sudden and couldn’t say why. That’s part of the job. I think it’s increased our togetherness in our relationship because we think of ourselves as a team.”

Families of service members have a common rap for living a nomadic lifestyle, always traveling and living from place to place. This helps instill a sense of awareness in these youth of understanding and perception of others, as well as different cultures.

“Moving from place to place and leaving close ones behind was difficult, but getting to explore new places was really exciting,” said senior Jill Michelson. “Always starting over and being the new kid in school was especially difficult, but really opened my eyes to how those feel on the outside as new students and how they would want to be treated.”

Military kids are a unique type of student who offers great value to the table to teach many of us important lessons from a lens we’ve yet to see through.

“All students, military families or not, have something to offer,” continued Rosebrock. “In my experience, these students [of military families] have demonstrated a strong sense of personal resilience and have a respect and consideration for everyone around them that is often atypical for their age. And, often more uniquely, are the valuable perspectives and experiences they have gained from traveling, being immersed in other cultures and being around students their age from all over the country (and, in some cases, the world).”

Even at Woodson, a visible camaraderie of military and non-military students actively plays into a wide culture of our students’ unique experiences.

“Many of my friends were military children,” said junior Aveek Sur, “and one thing I know is that they got each other’s back, are extremely adaptable, know so much about traveling and cultures of the world.”