May is Military Appreciation Month. It’s the month where we honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and it’s a time to reflect and think about the impact our community has on the world.
For me when I think about this, I can’t help but notice the military children and the impact they are making. It’s Katie who won the battle with a rare form of cancer and now shares her story, Geoffrey who turned his battle with depression into an organization that empowers and the countless number of milkids who follow their parents footsteps choosing to serve our country. And then there is my daughter Heather who showed incredible resilience and strength and is now making huge strides in cancer research.
Our first duty station was a culture shock especially for Heather. She was a Junior and the school just wasn’t her cup of tea. Instead of passing the time in a place that didn’t suit her, she carved a new path for herself, doubling up and taking night classes she graduated high school and started college a year early.
She was passionate and driven in a way that not many are setting her sights on cancer research. My daughter had seen what cancer can do when my father lost his battle after a 4 year fight. It was as if those events lit a fire that causing her to find new roads as a military dependent. Now 5 years later, a graduate in cell & molecular biology, she manages the entire cancer research facility at TTU where cutting edge treatments are being tested and cures are found.
Military children learn from early on skills like resilience, hard work and determination. They know that sometimes you have to work for a cause and a mission that is so much bigger than we are as individuals. And Heather does that day in and day out. She chose to take a situation that didn’t serve her and turn it into an opportunity, which is something our community does on a regular basis. And she is not alone. [click to continue reading …]