Military families serve a higher calling in their dedication to our country. That commitment allows us to live peacefully within the land of the free and home of the brave. But what does home mean to them and their families?
Home can take many forms and many definitions. Some say it is a place; the house you grew up in, the city you live or birth country. Home can the thought of a loved one, family member or feeling of comfort or security. Technology has made it possible for parents to work- from-home, college students to learn-at-home and children to homeschool. Childhood memories or dreams of a moment to come may even be home. The dictionary defines home as the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.
As a military family, home is where your story begins. A right of passage growing up is leaving home. Service members leave home to join the armed forces, often time to specialize theirs skills for when they return home and enter into a civilian career. Many military spouses leave home for the first time when they marry into the military and learn the joy that comes at the end of deployment when the walls of their home burst open with love and laughter. Home can be wherever the military sends you or where you lay your head.
Home is Where You Hang Your Hat
Home can be an idea instead of a place. That idea can be brought to any city or building and turn it into a home. Close your eyes and picture home. What items of sentiment do you see? Are there memories, smells or special things hanging on the walls or books on shelves? Add these same things to your house or apartment to make it feel more like home.
Home is Where Your Dreams Lie
As part of the military lifestyle, packing up a home becomes second nature. After the inevitable relocation, it is unpacking those sentimental treasures that help start the transformation. Whether it is a favorite quilt, grandma’s teapot or the poster you got from your first concert, this is what makes it feel like home. The place you live is a house. The feeling you get when you walk inside that house makes it home.
Home is Where Your Memories Are Made
Being apart from the ones you love can make holidays and other special occasions seem lonely. When loved ones are deployed, home for holidays takes on a different meaning. Special occasions like Birthday/Christmas/Anniversary , get celebrated when you get the chance, sometimes all in the same week.
Home Is Where The Military Sends Us
Get excited about the new places awaiting and look at the inevitable Permanent Change of Station (PCS) as a gift rather than a challenge. Choose to remain positive and appreciate the exciting possibilities that come with uncertainty. Seek support. Build a network of support that you can rely on. Reach out to others on your base. Open yourself and welcome help from loved ones around you. Whether it is a helping hand around the house or emotional support, it is crucial to have people around you.
“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” ― Sarah Dessen
What Does Home Mean To You?
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