Tough Ties

Students share what it is like having a military family member

Teagan Lynch, Staff Writer

Most of us have seen the teary-eyed veteran returns home videos on YouTube as well as witnessed the heartbreaking aftermath of the death of one. Time spent in the military can be both a sore and proud subject for veterans and their family members all over the world. 

While having pride and respect for those serving in the military, the demanding conditions of the job can make it difficult for their family members at times. Sophomore Abigale Holtz, daughter of a service member, understands these frustrating difficulties.

“The military is very unpredictable; they could be gone randomly and not know until a week [before],” Holtz said.

Many people who serve in the military are stationed away from home for their service. When this happens, family members, such as spouses and children, have the option to move with them as a family or stay home. Those who move with their family may get the opportunity to visit and live in many different states, or even countries, by a young age.

One person who has moved a lot because of her parent’s involvement in the military is the daughter of two Navy service members, senior Ellyna Campbell. She has lived in many places including Virginia, California, Washington, and now Nebraska.

“[Moving is] one of the worst parts, but a blessing in disguise because I get to meet new people and learn about new cultures- it’s fun,” Campbell said.

On the other hand, those who stay home, like daughter of service member sophomore Haylea Booth, have to learn to live without important figures in their lives. They don’t get to see them very often and have to settle for digital and over-the-phone contact as a replacement for in-person contact.

“I like that he’s helping out and stuff, but sometimes it can affect your daily life and not being able to have such a close relationship,” Booth said.

This distance can greatly affect the relationships children have with their parents and upset regular household dynamics.

“It just sucks not having a father figure around 24/7 and not being able to communicate all the time. So it gets kind of hard sometimes.” Booth said.

In many cases, however, parents being in the military can inspire their children to follow in their footsteps. This was the case for Campbell, who is looking to go into the Navy, just like both of her parents.

“I support them, they serve our country and… they still do a good service.” Campbell said.

Campbell has been able to maintain a close relationship with her parents throughout their time of service, creating a positive view on the lifestyle of a service member’s family.

“My least favorite part is knowing in some places he could be unsafe… but when you know they’re safe it’s like a weight being lifted off your shoulders.” Holtz said.

Limited family phone calls at certain deployment locations, like high battle zones, can cause tension and fear of the unknown.

“It can be hard but if you look at it from the bright side it’s really not that bad.” Booth said.