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New Roots

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Written by Junior Guest Writer

Lucia Johnson

For an average kid, summer is filled with laughter, friends, pool parties, and endless variations of fun. But, as a military kid, summer isn’t so simple. It usually consists of a huge, loud moving truck, an empty house, stressed-out parents, long goodbyes, and being whisked away to an entirely different place that you are now being told to call home.

Missing Out or Staying Put

Once the rush of moving somewhere new is over, the reality that summer is almost at an end and that you have absolutely no friends in your new “home” sets in. I remember sitting on the front porch after a particularly long move from Alaska to Louisiana thinking about all of the things I didn’t get to check off my summer bucket list. About my best friend’s birthday party that I had just missed. About the shared memories I wouldn’t make – the kind that only happen when you’re “there.”

Bucket list box

Summers where I’ve had to move away seem to be long and sad, but having those experiences has just taught me to treasure the summers where I’ve had the privilege to stay for a little while longer! Whenever I know summer PCS season is starting for other military families, (but not my own!), I take a moment to appreciate that, this time around, I’ll get to spend more time with my friends, enjoying and being grateful for a calm summer where we can stay put. Best of all, I won’t have to be the new kid again. That security of walking into the next school year already knowing most of the people in my class is incredibly comforting.

"… as a military kid, summer … usually consists of a huge, loud moving truck, an empty house, stressed-out parents, long goodbyes, and being whisked away to an entirely different place that you are now being told to call home." @iwillwaitvsp Share on X

Finding New Roots in the Balance

I realize that most summers in my life have been defined as whether we moved or not. The difference between the two is huge, and each has its ups and downs. Take Ft. Polk. While not being a nomad usually represents stability and peace, when we lived in Louisiana, all I wanted was to get out of that place. It was hot, humid, and bare – of everything. Getting the news that we would be moving came as a blessing because I just wanted to go anywhere else. Orders for Pennsylvania seemed like the perfect solution! Once it came time for us to pack our bags, though, leaving all of my friends, my school, and the community I had found still hurt. 

Even though moving can be hard, every single time we have gone someplace new, I have always been able to get back up on my feet. And if it has taught me anything, it is to remember that I will always be able to find new roots and that I should cherish every second of summer, whether it’s spent in a new, empty house, or in a familiar one, enjoying the slow times with friends and family. 

Having lived in eight states in her 14 years, Lucia Johnson is something of a young expert on moving. Currently, she spends her time riding horses – a love she acquired at age six during her family’s stint in Washington state – and dreaming of her family’s next (and final?!) move to the beautiful state of Alaska.

To read more of Lucia’s unique perspective as a military kid, check out her previous blog post for VSP here.

Are you an active duty or veteran milspouse interested in being a guest writer for VSP? Get in touch with your details and topic interests on our contact page!

Tags :
2023,Army,Military Family,Military Kid,Military Move,PCS,Summer
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2 Responses

  1. Lucia, you are a gifted writer!! And beautiful too!! Thank you for being so transparent with your perspective and your feelings.
    Love to you and your family!
    Rosalie Mills

  2. Lucia, You are not only beautiful and resilient, you are a very good writer!!
    I’ve never been in your moving shoes as I lived in the same house for my first 18 yrs and only moved as a married adult to 3 states for school or work.
    I can see there are pros and cons to your life, however your family and God has been with you in every high and low moment. Keep leaning on Him.
    You and your family truly amaze me❣️
    Much love to you, sweet girl,
    Cathy Hopkins

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