The dandelion is the official flower of the Military Child, and for good reason. They symbolize the way Military Children are uprooted and planted all over the world, yet remain resilient and flourish anywhere they are taken. Military children lead a unique life that is different from their civilian peers. They often move frequently, spending extended periods of time away from their parents during deployment and training periods, and get indirect exposure to war, conflict, and violence, often at a young age. Military families relocate on average every 2 to 3 years, which is ten times more than civilian families.
This lifestyle can be challenging, but it also has its benefits. Military kids usually grow up on military bases, decorate their housing walls, and hang out with the new kids who recently moved in. Going to school as the new kid over and over can be difficult, but new cultural experiences and connections make it worth it. Despite constantly moving around, we usually manage to make lifelong friends wherever we go. This is why the color purple symbolizes the Military Child. It is all the branches colors mixed together. Each year when April comes around, we all wear purple to celebrate our unity in adversity.
Being a military child means you’re usually around other military families, especially if you live on base. This provides a unique opportunity to see first-hand the incredible men and women serving our country. While many people see military service members as distant members of our Armed Forces, military kids see them as the people they babysit for, the people who give them rides to school, and the people who serve them cake at Christmas parties. Military kids learn to value the people in their lives, even if they know that something is temporary.
Growing up in a military family can have challenges, but it can also be rewarding. Military kids learn how to be adaptable and how to handle difficult situations gracefully. They learn to value the people in their lives and cherish the few moments they have with them. Being a military child is a unique experience that shapes who they are and who they will become.