Pouring Out Their Thoughts: Kids Describe Their Lives as Military Brats

“Deployments are hard . . . sometimes we are just sad. It’s okay to be sad; it’s natural. We just don’t want to focus on the sad stuff too long.”

-Jack Ellis, 12, military brat

To Sheree Kelly-Calloway, service operations assistant at Maxwell AFB, Ala., reading about the impact of PCSing from a child’s perspective hits very close to home. She moved from Texas to Alaska and finally to Alabama during her father’s long military career.

Children of troops stationed at Maxwell wrote essays about being military brats during the store’s Month of the Military Child celebrations last month. Three were picked as winners in the contest conducted by the Exchange’s Services team, with each receiving a $100 Exchange gift card.

“Being a military brat helped me resonate very well with children,” Kelly-Calloway said. “I can relate when they express their feelings about hearing the news they’re going to have to pick up and move again, change schools, fine new friends and simply start all over again.”

Winners Lailah Aziz, Jack Ellis and Brady Philbin poured their innermost thoughts into their essays, never living in one place to build lasting friendships but experiencing places and learning things, unlike kids whose parents aren’t in the military

“In Okinawa, I learned the hands-on lessons of how unique and interdependent all peoples, cultures and nature are, and how through diversity we become united,” wrote 11-year-old Lailah, a Marine’s daughter.

“Saying bye is always the worst. After a couple of weeks, it tends to get better. Once you get into a new routine, it’s easier to think less about how you miss them (friends) and more about how great it is when you get to see them again,” wrote Jack, 12, an Airman’s son.

“Life as a military child can be difficult. You will probably have to live in a lot of different places . . . and your parents might even have to live overseas or get sent out to war. But no matter what happens, you have to stay strong and determined,” wrote Brady, 12, also an Airman’s son.

Read what they had to say:

Lailah Aziz

Jack Ellis

Brady Philbin

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