5 Stories Only Military Kids Can Tell

Family & Relationships

April is the month of the military child. But for service members’ kids, every month is about being a military child. According to the 2010 U.S. census, more than 1.2 million dependent children live in active-duty families.


From moving across the country or the globe, to making new friends, to Skyping a parent while playing guitar, military life has a profound impact on the children who are born into a lifestyle of service.

In order to get some insight into what it’s really like to be a military child, Task & Purpose sat down with six military kids to hear their stories, with a little help from Blue Star Families, an advocacy group that provides services for military families.

Watch their stories below.

On her dad, the infantryman …

On favorite memories …

On moving …

On joining the military …

On deployment …

Photo by Matt Battaglia

On Saturday, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduated the most diverse class in the academy's history.

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PORTLAND — They are "the honored dead" for this special day each year, on Memorial Day.

But for the rest of the year, America's war dead of the 20th century can be far removed from the nation's awareness.

The final resting places of some 124,000-plus U.S. servicemen are at far-away hallowed grounds not always known to their countrymen.

They are America's overseas military cemeteries.

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NEWPORT — The explosion and sinking of the ship in 1943 claimed at least 1,138 lives, and while the sea swallowed the bones there were people, too, who also worked to shroud the bodies.

The sinking of the H.M.T. Rohna was the greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of U.S. war, but the British Admiralty demanded silence from the survivors and the tragedy was immediately classified by the U.S. War Department.

Michael Walsh of Newport is working to bring the story of the Rohna to the surface with a documentary film, which includes interviews with some of the survivors of the attack. Walsh has interviewed about 45 men who were aboard the ship when it was hit.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo

Editor's note: this story originally appeared in 2018

How you die matters. Ten years ago, on Memorial Day, I was in Fallujah, serving a year-long tour on the staff and conducting vehicle patrols between Abu Ghraib and Ramadi. That day I attended a memorial service in the field. It was just one of many held that year in Iraq, and one of the countless I witnessed over my 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Like many military veterans, Memorial Day is not abstract to me. It is personal; a moment when we remember our friends. A day, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth."

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Arnold Zuniga walked quickly, quietly, to the wall of the fallen and dragged his finger across the name of the childhood friend who never came back.

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