• September 17, 2014

Military families have chance to sample cultures

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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:30 am

Of the hundreds of babies born each year at Darnall Army Medical Center, chances are most of them will never come back to Fort Hood, or Central Texas for that matter, as an adult.

Such is the life of military families and all the moving and changes that come with it. That’s not a bad thing ... it’s just the way it is.

Growing up in an Air Force family, my dad was in basic training in Texas when I was born in Baton Rouge, La. Five years later, stationed in Japan, my brother Morgan was born at Misawa Air Force Base. Three years after that, another brother, Patrick, was born at Hahn Air Force Base in Germany.

I was old enough to remember both of their births. And I have quite a few memories of both countries, yet I haven’t been back to them since. Nor have my brothers. I’d like to, though.

Germany has great food and castles. When I think of Japan, snow sculptors and giant beetles come to mind.

With a family of my own now, and baby No. 2 on the way, it got me thinking of all the places people in my family have been born: Louisiana, Japan, Germany and others.

While I was already out of the military at the time, my first daughter was born in North Dakota. Newspapers had brought me there. But, in a way, the military lifestyle brought me to North Dakota, too. Growing up in a military family, I had gotten used to moving every three years or so. I continued that lifestyle as an adult, joining the Army out of high school, then moving a lot during my 20s and 30s: Texas. Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota and now, back to Texas.

While I have lived in the Lone Star State off and on for 16 years, baby No. 2 will be the second member of my direct family to be born in Texas. My wife is a native Texan, too.

The bottom line, though, is any place is possible when it comes to new additions to families, especially military families. A military family of five, for example, wouldn’t be unusual if every member were born in a different state.

Such a dynamic might seem like it could be a challenge. But all those change of duty stations give families new experiences to cultures and diversity most families never see. Plus, it’s kind of neat to have family members born in exotic places.

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