One of my first memories is waking up in the family station wagon surrounded by Styrofoam coolers and household supplies. Traveling from Fort Knox to Leavenworth and all the vacation spots from Key West to Wyoming. Soon after we added airline flights to our lifestyle. We were one of those "military families. "
There was a war going on. Plunked down in Florida for a year waiting for dad to return home at age 4 is the first time I heard some Americans didn't like my family. It would have been the worst memory if we weren't vigilant for my dad to come home alive. That was what that entire year was about. He finally came home and after some R&R received his orders for his next duty station and off we went to Maryland.
During that year I saw two families who packed up and moved without their dad. Their dads were two of the many that were gone. There were horrifying nightmares and life lessons for me at the earliest age. On one hand I saw adults giving us dirty looks and heard some really bad names along with wishes that my dad would die. On the other hand I was taught that life isn't guaranteed and to stand for what I believe in. I wasn't going to believe in a nation that didn't defend itself and since we have a military might and my dad was a part of it then I followed and learned those beliefs. I never saw the non military families displaying any such standards. I was taught that we were doing something for our country and the others were benefiting from it. And of course they should or what was it all for?
My biggest loss was my dad retired when I was 14 after 24 years of active duty.