By Ami, Military Spouse and Exchange Guest Blogger
I have been part of the Air Force family since I was a year old. Over my dad’s AF career, my family and I have had ten different assignments and thirteen different houses. We moved around every two years, which, while overwhelming at times, gave us the opportunity to have a life full of adventure.
When I was younger, the moves didn’t really have much of an impact on my sister and me; my parents would just fill our minds with promises of all of the exciting things the next base had, and we couldn’t wait to arrive at this new place. As we got older, the idea of moving became less exciting; friends were getting left behind, the roots we had begun to grow would have to be cut short again, as we would be thrown into a new neighborhood, a new school, with the kids already having made their friends, and us trying and hoping to fit into somebody’s life. It began to get hard; really hard. I have memories of swinging alone during recess and skipping lunch to go to the library so I wouldn’t have to eat by myself. But I also have memories of hiking through castles in Turkey, whitewater rafting through Denali National Park, sledding in -30 degrees, watching Fourth of July fireworks over the arch in St. Louis, and so many other beautiful adventures I was able to share with my family.
Sure, PCSing wasn’t always easy, but we would eventually make friends, love our new house and the community, and it would be equally hard to leave the place we were so dreading when it came time for our next assignment. PCSing forced us to constantly start over; taking with us just some household goods and the people that meant the most to us. Being forced to leave behind all the comforts we had built up revealed quite quickly that we didn’t need a house or nice things and that we could find friends no matter where we were. It made us realize that “home” wasn’t so much a place as it was the people that were with us through every change and every step of each journey: our family. We would be okay no matter where we were because we had each other. And we celebrated this at every assignment by making the most of every base we were sent to and leaving each assignment happy we had been there.
I have absolutely no regrets growing up in this way and consider myself blessed to have had all the opportunities the AF has given us. I have grown up and graduated college, but am fortunate enough to continue the Air Force adventure, but this time as a spouse. My husband and I have no idea where we may be stationed next, but that is part of the beauty of the Air Force life: it doesn’t matter where you go as long as you have the people you love beside you.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Ami! If you’d like to be a guest blog on our site, post a comment below and let us know!
Read what Chandler, a Military Child and another guest blogger, wrote for us in honor of the troops–he was 13 at the time and you’ll be impressed!
The opinions expressed in this guest blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.