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The Military Household: We All Go Through Different Things

By Eileen Garcia-Sanchez

JanetYour typical military household has one parent in the force with a spouse and children. But what about the other families, such as those with both parents in the force or one parent in the force and the other involved in another serious career? My family may seem to be the typical model, but in reality we are one of the “other” families.

My father is a first sergeant in the U.S. Army, my mother is a stay-at-home mom who continuously volunteers in the community, and they have three children. Now that may sound pretty typical, but what makes us different is my mom. My mother has lupus, and that means she gets sick a lot. How does that work with three kids? Two words: faith and love.

Growing up was a struggle. My father would be away working the entire week, even weekends, and my mother would be in the hospital or on bed rest. My brothers and I would be sent to stay with family friends or relatives in the area. It was definitely hard to see my mother sick to the point where she couldn’t get out of bed, and sometimes I did not see my dad at all. My dad would be gone from early in the morning to sometimes after my bedtime. Going to school allowed us to maintain sanity while both of them were busy.

Being a military child, you learn to deal with not spending as much time with one of your parents, but my family had to learn to accept twice the amount of time lost. Yes, Dad is busy, but now Mom is sick, so we have to maintain control of the house until things are set back in place. By “in place,” I mean when Dad was on leave or Mom was feeling better, and sometimes both.

Although it is a difficult life, I wouldn’t change military life for anything. My dad spends time making our world a better place and my mom is at home on bed rest. Those are things that have shaped my life into what it is today and made me a stronger person.

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