Military Moves Bring Ups, Downs

Madelynn Honeycutt and Alyssa Lacap, Reporters

A common struggle for military students is when they move, they lose friends as fast as they gain them. A majority of those interviewed agreed that friendships are hard to maintain.

So, they use social media to keep in contact with each other. Popular social media used include Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

“I move like…once every two years. So you make friends, then you lose them. You make some more friends, then you just lose them…but, you get a lot of Instagram followers,” Tyler Mckelvin (11) said.

Private citizens, generally, do not have the advantage of traveling overseas the way military families do. When moving abroad, it gives individuals an opportunity to experience new cultures and diverse communities.

“Despite the involuntary moves, a pro is that you get to travel a lot and meet new people,”  Antonio Jackson (10) said, “I’ve been to Japan, Texas, Ohio, San Diego, Korea and Virginia.”

According to DoDEA’s Educational Partnership website, it states that the average child in a military family will move six to nine times during a school career. That’s an average of three times more frequently than non-military families.

Julia Francisco (12) said that “moving to different places and meeting people with different cultural backgrounds can widen your perspective on socioeconomic differences.

Some may say that having a parent in the military is an amazing advantage, which is true in some instances. Except for when it comes to making new friends and settling into their new school.

“I don’t make friends as quickly as other people,” Sophia Stobie (9) said.

What people don’t realize is how difficult it is to try and recreate a life in a completely different place from their last home. It can be a monumental challenge to be sociable, settle into a new school, and adjust to a new homelife.

Military dependents need to get used to moving generally every three years. They have to say goodbye to everyone and everything at the end of their short residency, before leaving for their new home, which may be in another state or even country. It can be heartbreaking.

“I don’t like it. I hate moving around. I hate it. I’ve been moving around for like 18 years all the time. I like sticking with my home,” Lyca Emerson (12) said. “If I had a chance to move back to Mississippi I would but I can’t because I need to graduate. Once I step off the stage I’m going straight home.”

Some people are not as welcoming and kind as they would hope. In fact, hurt feelings and awkward conversations emerge when they come across people with negative biases of people, or those who have families, in the military.

Lyca Emerson (12) and Jon Daniel Guerra (11) are military dependents who transferred from Mississippi and Texas, respectively. Emerson, who moved to Radford earlier in the school year, said that she wants to return to Mississippi. “Once I step off the state, I’m going straight home,” she said.

“Some people think I’m a military brat,” Jon Daniel Guerra (11) said. “It doesn’t bother me because sometimes it’s true.”