Growing Up in the Military

The following essay was submitted by Becky Brinkerhoff via our Facebook Essay Challenge where we invited our Facebook Friends to submit a short essay sharing “What is your best experience in (or with) the Military?”

Growing Up in the Military

My family has been involved with the military all my life. My dad served as a Marine since he was 18 years old. He has long since retired, but the things that he learned and his life in the military shaped his life. It has also shaped the life of myself and my brothers and sisters. We have learned to respect humanity, to help others and to be peacemakers among other values. More than half of my family members have served in various branches of the military to protect the freedoms we enjoy and to help maintain the freedom that we take for granted.

I am proud to support their decision to be soldiers even though I know military life is not always easy.    Sometimes it is hard to watch them leave their families to serve their country, but I know that the sacrifice that they are making is for the good of myself and my neighbors and the millions of people  in our great country.

We are always overjoyed to see them return and see how they have grown and developed as they have served. There is a sense of pride in their eyes and respect in their manners. There is a new confidence in everything they do. The military has changed lives and their influence is felt around the world no matter where they serve.

Many of my siblings have benefited from the educational opportunities that the military provides. They have grown in knowledge and experience and have shared what they know with their families and their peers. It has also given them opportunities that they may not have had  without the military.  My brother learned some things in the medical industry and was able to use his knowledge to save his daughter’s life when she was very young. My sister has always wanted to help in hospitals and will have a chance to learn what she wants to learn with the help of the military.

The influence and sacrifice of all soldiers and their families directly make my life better, no matter where I am and what I do.

Without their efforts, every day would be a lot different.  My opportunities and lifestyle would be very limited. I would not be free to wake up each day full of hope and promise.

They are a beacon of hope during floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters. They rescue the innocent, the weak and the needy. They protect good people from terrorists and tyrants they provide the strength needed to shield us from the power hungry hate mongers around the world.

Without their sacrifices, we would not be enjoying the peace and safety we now have. We would not be able to vote for leadership that represents our values.  Growing up it was easier to know that my older brothers and sisters were helping other little boys and girls around the world enjoy the same safe-haven we enjoy here at home.

by Becky Brinkerhoff

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