I was a military child for my entire childhood. We moved to one base and stayed there. I’d never moved state to state or out of country like many of my friends had experienced. I definitely knew the securities of living on base, how you could walk absolutely anywhere without being afraid of kidnappings, etc. It wasn’t until high school that we would learn what living off-base was like (minus the few times we’d visit our biological mother or relatives) I was the oldest child, I never experienced what it was like to have a sibling move away. I would have no clue of this until many, many years later.
I married a Marine, which meant I finally moved away, but I was the oldest and our ties were severed before leaving home. So there was no writing letters home, etc. I wouldn’t even talk with my family for over 2 years. Fast forward to 19 years later and we have five children. Our oldest already graduated high school, he has a job and was going to college…when he wasn’t at work/college he was home playing video games. Extremely close to all his siblings. After school his younger brother would immediately tell him about his day and any girls he thought was pretty or share a secret of something funny that happened that day. His younger sister would tell him all about something she learned from STEM or Science class. Nicoli would keep him busy any time at home, whether it was chatting up a story, reading a book or helping him play video games.
One day he informed me he was thinking about joining the military. I must admit pride came inside me, I came from a long line of men/women in the military. To me this was nothing unusual, the only difference was the tight-knit family and how I would make everyone feel okay with him moving away. I knew all along he’d move away, whether he joined the military, went off to college (not in town), moved out on his own or got married. Below is a few tips on how to cope when a sibling moves away and joins the military.