June 24, 2015
*Originally written for our Newsletter, The Briefing. As a military family preparing for our second “adventure” I’ve found myself looking back through photos and notes from the first one thinking “how did we do this?” “Can we do it again?” Then I came across a couple pictures of my daughter Keira dancing and quickly remembered how blessed we are. Our Military Kids is an organization that our family will forever hold dear. With our first adventure, we found it difficult to find a way to tell our three young kids that their dad would be leaving for a year, especially our daughter Keira because she truly is “daddy’s little girl.” Then, in the mail arrived a package from Our Military Kids. Inside the package we learned that Keira was fortunate enough to be awarded a grant for her ballet lessons for the next six months! Included was a certificate for Keira, a patch, a bracelet, and a special dog tag that said “I’m proud of my military parent.” When I opened the package I was overcome by the generosity of others, and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity (if there is such a thing) to tell Keira. Our Military Kids gave us the opportunity to share the news in a way that allowed us to celebrate our service and to recognize the honor being a military family is. Through one of the most difficult conversations I could imagine, we had the opportunity to tell Keira because she is so brave, a very kind person had given her a special award, and that that award would allow for her to continue with dance while Daddy was away. Keira loves ballet, and she loves her picture taken even more. We talked about how we would be able to take a picture every weekend at ballet and send it to Daddy so that he could see how well she was doing. I even told her that we would video tape her recital that way Daddy could watch it too. Deployment is hard through the eyes of anyone, especially a child. The fear and uncertainty with which they endure is unfathomable and shows up in many different ways. The opportunity to continue ballet gave Keira something to look forward to each week and allowed her to have something that was special for just her. Each week she would send a picture to her dad and when it came time for her recital she proudly represented her military family pride. So as we embark on our second adventure, of course we’re overwhelmed and fearful, but far more importantly we are proud and grateful. We are eternally grateful for Our Military Kids and all of the donors that make deployment just a little easier for our nation’s warriors. Each donation helps shape memories, resiliency and pride in their journey. Through the support of organizations such as this, we will persevere.