I am an Army brat, born to a career Army officer and West Point graduate, and the grand daughter of a career Army officer. My uncle went to West Point; my aunt married a career Air Force officer. My cousin served in the Air Force and fought in Viet Nam. My husband was an enlisted Marine, and my son served in Iraq as a Marine infantry lieutenant, My parents, my grand parents, my cousin, my aunt and uncle, and even my husband's daughter in law's father are all buried at Arlington. I am a military child.
When I was growing up I hated being an Army brat. I was in seven or eight schools before I hit middle school. I lived in Panama next to the jungle and ran screaming from large iguanas in my back yard. I lived in Japan on the northernmost island, where my mother swears it snowed 6 feet in 6 hours one day. I was born at Benning while my dad was in jump school. I went to nursery school at Bragg. I am a military child.
I learned that you never stay any place for long. You meet people and become friends and then you never see them again. I learned to get to know people quickly because you didn't have much time together. I am a military child.
Ilearned how to find out a commonality with strangers within five minutes of meeting them. It is amazing how many people share two or three degrees of separation with you - forget seven! I have found clients who played in frisbee leagues on the same field that I went to second grade on in Gainesville Florida. I found out that the owner of the Delicious Pie Company, Sherman McCoy, in Bowie Md is from the same town that I went to kindergarten in. I love to play the game with myself of "How long will it take you to find that commonality with this total stranger?" Since I am the only one who knows I am playing... I always win! I am a military child.
Eventually my parents settled in Washington, DC and I stopped being a military child - or so I thought. I didn't realize that once you are a military child, you are always a military child. So.... now I am grateful to my dad and my grandfather, my uncle and my cousin, for making me a military child.
When I work with clients relocating to the Washington area, I immediately understand how they feel about having to pick up their lives, uproot their children, move their memories to a new place and time. There is so much to be done besides finding a house. There is the whole effort of a soft landing for the one causing the move to occur, the spouse who finds a life style turned upside down, and the children who have no say in the matter.
I understand that there is more to be done after the house is located. There are doctors and orthodentists to be identified, summer camps to be explored, scout memberships to be started, schools to be selected, and library cards to be gotten.
I am a military child, and I am grateful for that now. It used to embarass me that I had moved so much, but now I am grateful. I understand the angst that my clients go through when they are relocating to Washington. I love showing them around my "hometown" and sharing all the wonderful resources that are available in Washington. Because I am a military child, I am a much more empathetic Realtor.
Thanks Dad for the start you gave me - and since November 30 is your birthday, I am glad to dedicate this blog to you! I miss you Dad!