Hello, my name is James Nathaniel Richards. Everyone calls me Nate the great. I am the baby boy in a large Military family. I have 4 older brothers, 3 are in the military ,like my Dad and 1 little …
When you are a military kids , Christmas comes in many different shapes and sizes .
I have a Dad that is active duty and 4 brothers who also serve. So a Christmas like Norman Rockwell paints a picture of doesn’t really apply here.
We have all kinds of traditions in our family and usually we Skype anyone who is skypeable but sometimes that can’t happen.
This year my Mom has been pretty sick and everyone at home has stepped up to help. My Mom loves having us all home and the craziness it entails. Well this Holiday season 3 brothers weren’t able to make it home .
So we tried to make it as special as we could.Trying with my little sister to think of a new tradition we could start. Time grew closer to Christmas and we knew for sure two Brothers weren’t going to be able to skpe and probably not b able to call. Feeling very much like my Mom wouldn’t get at least a half of Christmas wish we emailed our brothers so they knew how important it was to try and call.
Fast forward to chrostmas day , one brother got to FaceTime M us ! Mom was excited !! Well, so was I !!! He was able to talk for a good bit of time and tell us funny stories of where he was . Then next brother emailed ! A big amount of excitement only one more deployed brother to make it a trifecta !!! Then just before we went to bed inn Christmas night a miracle!! Our last brother called and was able to talk to mom and the rest of us . It was short but we all were thankful for the time !! It was after we hung up that I told my Mom we had a perfect Christmas. It wasn’t just a hometown one, it was global style ! Just the way any military family should celebrate !
Happy Holidays to everyone !!
I can remember the day I got this call! It is still such a humbling experience and honor.
Congrats to all these honorees! You are the change we need in this world! Have an awesometactular time in D.C.
It is always a special day when we get to announce the recipients of our annual Military Child of the Year ® Award. Every year, we are awed by the accomplishments of all our nominees, and it never gets easier choosing just six to represent the virtues of resiliency, leadership and achievement that we know are exhibited every day by military children around the world. But choose we must, and so without further ado, it is our great honor to present this year’s recipients for the Military Child of the Year award for each branch of service:
John “Trip” Landon III
“The children in our…
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Maya Angelou once poignantly said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Sometimes in our young lives tragedy and death occurs. If you are a regular kid it may be your experience when a pet or grandparent passes. As Military kids we are exposed to much more at a really young age. I remember my brother calling my Mom from Afghanistan to say his really good friend might not Make it. We started praying ! Prayer is very important in our house. We know that when we pass we will be with our father and life will be amazing. However ,we know there will be lots of people left here. Charlie’s friend ended up being good ! He didn’t die and didn’t lose his leg . Fast forward to end of the deployment . We got another call! This time his really good friend had been killed. We prayed for his Mom and family. It made me think that really your life isn’t about how you live and die . It is truly about the legacy you can leave behind.
Now ,I know so many of you are kids like me ! Your thinking I am just a kid what legacy can I leave the world? What changes can I make at this age? Well , let me tell you you can make huge changes and leave an amazing legacy. You need to find out what you are passionate about ! Whether it be bringing your old Toys and clothes to kids that need them or Bringing food to the homeless. Even if it is starting a blog about Legos , it will leave a legacy for someone. Now , I am writing this because Zachary Parsons was killed in a tragic accident. He was the OH MCOY for 2015. He was a kid and did amazing things to help His community .He was an advocate for Military Kids , like us.
He had no idea his time was going to be short ! He did feel compelled to leave a legacy. OH put a quote on there page and it is perfect “it’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would be if never would have shown!” He didn’t know he was going to pass. He just lived a life to fulfill he own Legacy!
I want everyone reading this to do 2 things !
Tell your family you love them!
Find and do something that will let the world know how important it people were to you .
For me being in a military family is like this huge grey area. Nothing is black and White! Some else higher up than my Dada is always making decisions that change the plans we have. I am a black and white kid! I love to know the plan and follow it through. I am a fact kid, I like to know the answers and sometimes in a military family you never know why. Why your Dada has to go on another deployment and he just got back. Why your big brothers can’t be home to watch your football game becuase the leave got canceled .Why another brothers plans got denied to switch from branch to another. Or why you can’t choose where your next duty station is. I did however get very lucky , and we are staying in Cali for 4 more years. I guess thist is where being resilient and facing adversity nd overcomin it comes in handy.
Being in a military family isn’t all bad . I have got to meet many amazing people. This summer my mom sister and I got to travel all over to visit my brothers at their duty stations. what an adventure that was ! A lot of Black and white on this trip . plans went as planned. I remember I Got to meet Tai Kyle and telling her about my brothers and Dada in the military? when I met her a few months ago my Dada and two brothers were deployed and another was at boot camp. Usually, you can only get one pic with her but she let me get one for each of my brothers and Dada. she signed her book with an accolade to support them all. This was a grey area I actually liked.
Novemember is the month we are all thankful for things. I am so thankful for my military family .My Dada and brothers all serve our country.They protect us and let us be free to do what we want. I am also thankful for Being able to talk to kids all over that go through a lot of the same issues as I do, makes it seem like I am not alone in this grey world.
So even though I can’t live in the black and white world I want , I still have plenty to be thankful for in this grey world.
When my Dada got back from an 11 month deployment , the first thing I asked was are you home now for a long time?
He replied”I think so”!
Well, the time he was off hull seemed to go much quicker than the deployment. I am not really sure why time flies by when things are the way you want them and then dragged at a toturerous rate of speed when you don’t want it too. I remember the Day ,just after Christmas and just before my only brother, Bubbu, still left at home was leaving for boot camp, my Dada sat us down and told he had to leave soon after
Bubbu graduated from Boot Camp. My reaction was stoic! What, he hadn’t even been home a year! I wanted to learn how to play baseball, my sister wanted him to see her dance at nationals.my other Brothers were coming home from deployments they would want him there to welcome them home.
Bubbu wanted him there when he went to BUDS.
So , what seemed to last hours of time , Isabelle asked for how long????
He said a lot of sleeps….. In our military house life is based on the number of nights of sleep . Homecoming , deployments and soon ( not soon enough) retirements. Define a lot ……He said It would be after many of our favorite holidays , all my football games and well into the new year. A lot of sleep!!!
i am so proud of how my Dada and brothers serve our country but the question still puts my brain in a quandrum … How long is a deployment . Really?