Being the spouse of a Veteran and a mother of two boys, I know there may be challenging times for a child that has a parent in the military. When my husband deployed to Iraq for a year in 2005, my then 7th grader kept all his feelings inside when he was at home, but had no problem letting them out while at school. My eldest son who was a freshman in college at the time, felt like he had to step up and be the man of the house…neither worked for me. I couldn’t let a teenager have that type of pressure on him, just as I could not allow a 7th grader to feel like he could do anything he wanted to do just because his father was not present.
Our children who grow up with a parent in the armed forces may have different ways of expressing their feelings according to their relationships within their household, but there’s one thing I’m sure they all will feel with growth, pride.
They will be proud of the sacrifice that their parent(s) made serving. They will understand that it is not only an honor but a privilege to serve our wonderful country. They will learn that the military may not be for everyone, but everyone is for the military. With this being said, my hat goes off to our military children, for they too have made sacrifices and I know it is not easy. When their parent serves the greatest country in the world, the entire family does as well. May God Bless the children of the armed forces and the United States of America.
Debra Collins is the spouse of Retired Maj. Gen. Augustus Leon Collins, former commanding general of the Mississippi National Guard.