9 Perks of Being a Military Kid

April, Month of the Military Child, recognizes the unique sacrifices of the nearly 2 million children with a parent currently in the military as well as those of us who grew up on bases around the world. If your go-to fun facts include any of the following (I have lived in 9 different states! I went to 3 elementary schools! I was born in England!), you might be a military kid. 

1. Military Discount

Photo courtesy Mary Ellen Tokar

Photo courtesy Mary Ellen Tokar

Pretty much every store I go into I ask, “Do you accept a military discount?” There’s no way I'm not getting my 10% off, whether it's at Nordstrom or Cafe Rio.

2. The Commissary

Basically the military grocery store. No tax on products, but it’s a huge, freezing warehouse-looking place. 

3. The Traveling

I was born in Kansas (random, I know) moved to Georgia, then Maryland, then South Korea, dabbled in China, and moved to another spot in Maryland. Thrown in here have been countless cross-country road trips and flights to Italy and Puerto Rico. I guess that’s what happens when your parents develop an affinity for traveling.

4. Greater Appreciation for Family

Seeing my father off to countless countries has definitely strengthened my appreciation for my family. Not only has missing my dad made me love him even more, but it has made me admire my mother when she balanced our rowdy household alone.

5. You Always Have a Fun Fact

You know when you’re in a new class and your teacher makes you play that "fun" ice-breaker where you tell a fun fact about yourself? And there's always someone near you saying, “Oh no! I don't have one.” The only thing you worry about is choosing your fun fact: What should I say this time? “I lived in South Korea” or “I’ve climbed the Great Wall of China”? Decisions, decisions!

6. Homecomings

You know those homecoming videos that make everyone cry? Yeah, that was my childhood. I can't go the airport without thinking of the memories my family has there, whether it was seeing my dad off to Japan or welcoming him home from South Korea as we sprinted across the airport screaming. 

7. Having a Dad/Mom to Scare off Ex-Boyfriends

If I had a nickel for every time one of my friends says to me, “Your dad scares me,” I would be drowning in nickels. I mean, it doesn’t help that I openly brag about the fact that my father can bench 340 pounds, but still. 

8. Greater Appreciation for Diversity

Visiting Asian countries was a life-changing experience that revolutionized my perspective; it showed the diversity across cultures and helped broaden my global perspective as a whole. And my dad always brought home countless souvenirs, so the amount of beautiful Middle Eastern culture we showcase in our house is astonishing.

9. Patriotism

This is definitely the most important one to me. Regardless of anything else I am proud of, my father is definitely at the top of my list. I am incredibly grateful that he sacrificed so much of himself for my family and for our country.