April 13, 2012
By Sgt. Jared S. Eastman, 1HBCT Public Affairs
FORT STEWART, Ga. – Although most military month observances reflect on the past as well as looking toward the future, no observance holds the future in such high regard as the Month of the Military Child.
Although normally oblivious to the trials and tribulations of being a child in the military, almost every aspect of their lives is affected by having a mother or father in the service of the United States.
For the children of Staff Sgt. Christopher and Cassie Blakeslee, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We have six kids,” said Cassie, “And have been a military Family for the last ten years.”
Four of their children are adopted from foster homes, and although they may appear different on the outside, one look at the Family together shows how well they get along.
“The military is very supportive of adoptions,” said Cassie, “And will help you through the adoption process with funding and even non-chargeable leave so that you can help get that child settled.”
Travon, one of the adopted children, was enthusiastic about being a military kid.
“It’s cool because you get to move around and try new things and foods,” Travon said with a grin, “But meeting new friends is my favorite.”
Whether it be moving from place to place constantly, or not being able to see one of their parents for over a year, military children gain resilience not commonly seen anywhere else.
“They move around a lot and have to make new friends quickly,” said Cassie, “But they are more adaptable because of that. I think all military kids adjust very well, and are more independent.”
Although the life of a military Family can be stressful and trying at times, this month causes us to stop and look at our world from a lower eye-level and perspective.
“The Month of the Military Child is a time to recognize the kids and the sacrifices they make by being military kids,” said Cassie. “Their lives are different from civilian children.”
No matter how different they may be, their laughter is the same. But whether they are playing on a swing set on Fort Stewart or in Okinawa, it is children that hold our future in their growing, sometimes dirty, hands.