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My dad was a Marine for 20+ years and now that he is long retired and I have my own life and career plans, I still look back on those military days fondly and owe many of my life experiences and skills to my father's job.

Pros:

  • It allowed me to travel extensively/more so than other children my age.
    • I was exposed to different cultures and ways of life early on, which I think caused me to become more open-minded and curious about the world.
    • It also instilled in me the extremely strong compulsion to travel and explore that I still have today.
  • I was privy to all the perks and benefits of a military father:
    • Excellent, cheap healthcare.
    • Trips to the commissary and PX.
    • Free, safe, quality housing and schooling (often on base).
    • Discounts at certain events, restaurants, theme parks, etc.
  • The military's emphasis, particularly the Marine Corps, on health and fitness, of course, resulted in a very fit and active father which greatly influenced my love for exercise today.
  • Although my parents are no longer together, I believe that my dad's career and traveling as a family played a huge role in keeping them married for as long as they were. And for that, I am thankful.
  • Because we moved frequently, my sister was often my only companion and I think we are closer today because of it.
  • I know the United States is FAR from perfect, but having a dad in the military instilled in me a strong sense of patriotism.
  • It sounds cheesy, but growing up military also taught me a great deal about commitment and loyalty as well.

Cons:

  • I moved about every 2 years, thus:
    • I wasn't able to form very close friendships and relationships with people.
    • And now, as an adult who is no longer moving often and has lived in the same area for a long period of time, I still find it difficult to form close relationships.
    • My social skills suffered and extreme shyness abounded (See 'Ridiculous Things I've Done to Avoid Social Interaction' list for examples :/).
    • I often get antsy and discontent being in one place for too long.
  • My father was often whisked away for long periods of time on assignments, sometimes dangerous, and we were left without a dad for a while.
    • For example, he was sent to Mogadishu for 6 months and we were kept on pins and needles awaiting his return.
  • When someone asks me the question, "Where are you from?", I have never been able to give a solid answer.
    • I then usually have to launch into my speel about growing up in the military and not living in one place long enough to be "from" there.
  • All of my extended family live in the same area, have grown up together and are very close as a result. My family has always been the one that lived far way & visits were infrequent.
jun 16 2010 ∞
jul 7 2012 +
user picture tonks: For some reason I can only think of the cons of being a child of a military man... I've got HUGE identity issues from all the moving around. jun 25 2010
user picture Bliss: Yeah, I hear ya. It's really affected my social skills, I think, but I still owe SO much to it!
user picture Sara : I have to say I am lucky and have been apart of a military family that didnt get to move around vary much. I was lucky and was born in Germany and got to travel alot of Europe intill I was about 2 when we came to the states here I lived in Maryland and in 1st grade move to Ny were I still am. B/c of were I was born me and my siblings have been lucky that our parents have a love for travel and have given us the chances to see such amazing places now that we are older overseas and here in the US as kids. Your list is one that I agree with both your pros and cons. One con I know I have is that as a kid I hated not living close to my aunts uncles cousins and grandparents and bein that I have lived in a small town I have experinced townies those families that have been here for yrs and yrs and are related and run the town sep 8 2010
user picture Bliss: I would have LOVED it if we just stayed in Japan and I could have just grown up there instead of being moved around every 2 years. But I guess that's all helped make me who I am today! sep 10 2010