Welcome to the neighborhood! Lots of military kids think that living on base is great! But maybe you’ve really never sat down and thought about why. It could be because:
It feels like home right away
It can be scary to move to a new place! But when you live on a military post, there will always be something familiar. Whether it’s the commissary, the pool or the shopette around the corner, there are certain buildings and services that are on every post. And when you start to feel like everything is new and different, it’s nice to know that some things never change.
It’s made for television
Believe it or not, one Air Force kid told us he loves living on base because it’s just like the old television shows they watch! Think about it: a military post is a front porch community. People are outside talking to their neighbors, teens are out walking the dogs, and kids are outside playing. Don’t get us wrong, civilian neighborhoods can be wonderful also! But there’s a certain feeling in a military neighborhood, a shared experience and a common purpose. Kids feel this too, and they like it a lot!
A bowling alley is to a military post like apple pie is to America! But it’s not just the convenience of having a bowling alley right down the road. Our military kids love being able to go swimming, see a movie, or hang out at the youth center. Can you do that in a regular town? Sure. But when the fun is within easy walking distance (and it doesn’t cost a lot of money) it’s like living in the ultimate gated community.
You get to experience living history
Living on a military installation is like living in a really awesome museum. Our kids love that their schools are named after famous service members, or that a famous service member might have once lived in their quarters! They also think it’s pretty great that they can drive past old tanks or airplanes on the way to the commissary. And when their grandparents come to visit, they always have something cool to show them!
What does it sound like when a few thousand soldiers run past your neighborhood? It sounds awesome! The pounding of feet on the pavement, the high energy music, the Jody calls to help set the pace are all worth getting your military kids up at 0600 to experience!
You get to see your parents more!
Okay, well…this one might not always be true. But think about it: When you live on base and mom or dad only has to drive a couple of miles to work, that’s lots of time that they don’t have to spend in the car commuting from off post. Those minutes add up, and sometimes it means more dinners together as a family.
It can be exciting!
Helicopters and Humvees. Airplanes and artillery. A military post is a busy and pretty amazing place! Military kids love that they can watch airplanes take off or soldiers run in formation. Take a look at life on a military post from the eyes of a civilian kid and sometimes it seems like you’re on a movie set!
Bugle calls and cannons
“When I hear reveille in the morning and retreat at night I feel proud and safe,” said one Army kid. The bugle calls and cannons, and watching kids on the playground stop to face the flag at 5 o’clock are just some of the sights and sounds that stir your soul, and make you, and your kids, truly proud to live on a military post.
You make memories that last a lifetime
Ask any adult military brat what they remember most about growing up as a military kid and they will probably tell you about living on base. Living in quarters on a military post is such a unique experience that every military kid should experience it at least once.
About the Author:
Chameleon Kids is the publisher of MILITARY KIDS’ LIFE magazine, the only print magazine for kids of service members. We encourage kids to find the bright side of their military life. Find us at www.chameleonkids.com/magazine