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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Brats serve too.

Posted Sunday, August 12, 2012, at 1:11 PM

My last entry apparently ruffled feathers, because apparently I'm an entitled brat who should not complain about her benefits because she didn't earn them.

I earned them.

"A recent RAND study commissioned by

the National Military Family Association

explored how children from military families

are faring with the wartime deployments of

their parents. RAND surveyed 1,500 youth

(applicants to the Association's Operation

PurpleŽ summer camps ranging in age from 11

to 17), as well as each subject's non-deployed

parent at home.

The study found that rates of anxiety among

military children--as well as emotional and

behavioral difficulties--are higher than the

national averages, and that longer periods

of parental deployment exacerbated these


source: http://www.militaryfamily.org/assets/pdf...

For those of you whose parents weren't in the service growing up, let me ask you this:

Did you ever have nightmares that your mother would drive over an IED?

Did your father ever miss the majority of your birthdays before you were ten?

Did you ever lie in bed wondering if you would get to hear from your parent within the next month?

Have you ever gone years without seeing your extended family, even though you'd really like to?

Military brats can suffer PTSD, Avoidant Personality Disorder and separation anxiety. Wertsch, Mary Edwards (April 23, 1991). Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress (1st hardcover edition). Harmony. ISBN 0-517-58400-X.

Have you ever had to explain to your 7-year-old brother why the firecrackers terrify your mother, when he's upset that mom doesn't want to come play on the fourth of July?

No, I didn't go into a war zone, but don't think for a second that I didn't make sacrifices. My parents could not afford to send me to college without the help of the GI Bill. See, the military doesn't pay a whole lot as you're moving through the lower ranks, and caring for three children forces you to stretch those dollars further. We never went without the basics, but we certainly weren't taking lavish vacations and driving fancy cars. My family didn't have the opportunity to save for college.

My mother was able to use spouse benefits to obtain her associate's degree, but the post 9/11 GI bill was a true blessing. My parents are like any other- they want more for us than they did, and they want us all to go to college. My father didn't feel he needed it and my mother had her degree. The benefits were there for them to do as they saw fit, and they did what they felt was the best choice: they gave them to their children, as they were allowed to do.

So pardon me if I'm upset that I can't get a break on tuition so I can be close to my extended family, since I will graduate before my mother can retire (so there's no guarantee I can go to school close to immediate). Pardon me if I get frustrated at the way the VA chooses to split certain payments that leave me scrambling for rent some months.

My parents earned the right to those benefits, and I earned the ability to use them.

The GI Bill isn't an "entitlement". It's an earned benefit for both military and the dependents that can use them. I worked for them. My parents worked for them. Don't try to marginalize my sacrifices as a military child.

Showing most recent comments first
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I like that my like was the one that showed up in your photo.

I found Timothy's post particularly hilarious.

-- Posted by lilmissmelmo on Fri, Sep 7, 2012, at 11:07 PM

Ms. Lauric,

"Ignorance will always be alive and well here."


-- Posted by yoB on Sat, Sep 1, 2012, at 4:00 PM

Melodie: Thanks for the blog post. The subject certainly made me think back to what my daughter went through. Sometimes parents forget growing up as a military brat can be extremely difficult.

-- Posted by bondyweb on Mon, Aug 13, 2012, at 5:30 PM

Great blog, as always, Melodie. You are a very smart young lady and you WILL go on to do great things.

Children and spouses of military members give dearly. You are spot on. The GI Bill benefits that have been afforded to you were EARNED and came at GREAT cost. Do not let the words of the few deter you (I doubt that to be the case anyway). You are very smart. Do not sit on a fence post when you have the ability to soar. Go girl (in the wise words of KH)! Get er done.

Ignorance will always be alive and well here. Hang in there Melodie---great things are ahead for you young lady.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Mon, Aug 13, 2012, at 9:02 AM

I think that I want to say, You Go Girl!. Hard work will get you where you want to go. We all have some type of personal struggles going on right now, but it is the military families who really suffer in times of war.

Everything in this world is backwards. Hollywood stars play "heros" and are amply compensated for their acting skills. Elected officials serve work very little for a great deal of money and benefits, all the while pretending that they are concerned about the working man.

The Military does their work in all sorts of conditions and gets very little in return. Their families do without during times of conflict. I can't imagine saying goodbye to a parent or loved one and not being sure that I would ever see them again.

There is no middle class in this country anymore. There are just people who work hard and try to keep roofs over their heads. There are poor because we have so many arrogant people who use them as poster children to say that one certain group of wealthy individuals should pay more, but others who are just as wealthy, get a pass.

I am not talking about big corporations, but those who have been entrusted with this country's well-being.

Keep your head up. People are rooting for you.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Sun, Aug 12, 2012, at 9:41 PM

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A Different Perspective
Melodie Lettkeman
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I'm a staff writer for the Tiger Tribune, and I have a lot to say! Music, books, movie reviews, my opinions and updates around the high school.
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