What Army Heritage Means to Me
Army Heritage Winning Essay by Victoria Bracey, Grade 8 ,Vicenza Middle School
When I talked to my dad about how to write this essay, we first had to figure out what the Army Heritage month even is. Talking with him, he helped me come to the realization that, whether you're an active duty soldier, a spouse, or a child, as long as you have a connection to the military you are serving. Army Heritage month was made to support and recognize diversity, and to promote teamwork and esprit de corps, which means being proud to serve. Even for those who don't have a family to come home to, being in the military means that you have a family in your co-workers, neighbors, and anyone who carries a military connection.
Sometimes, I don't quite feel like a military kid. I know my dad is a military veteran, I know people who serve, but I've never actually been that active in a military community. It was only three years ago, when I came to Italy, that I started to realize and appreciate the sense of community that belonging to a military family entails. Even though I was born in a military hospital in the United States, I lived in Germany for eight years which made it feel like home to me. Most military kids move around a lot, experiencing different cultures, finding new friends, but they also have to leave their old home behind and start again.
Sometimes I feel like an outsider, living in two different worlds. But every time that thought crosses my mind, I remember all of the good memories I've made here and I am reminded that I do belong here. I get to see everyone move on with their lives, wondering if they will remember their time here. I think I am only now starting to realize what Army heritage means to me. It means becoming more involved in my community, making others feel welcome, and being proud to belong to the military family. Waking up every day to find new opportunities and make the most of what I have. And even if I don't always feel like I am a military kid, I hope that I can learn what it means to be one and maybe one day be worthy of that title.
There is a special connection between those in the military. Even those who haven't worn a uniform can feel a special sense of pride in being connected to the military. Every single one of us is serving in their own way. We all come from different walks of life, have had different experiences that shaped us and made us who we are today. Being part of the military community is something to be proud of. I know I am. Even when I go out to find my own adventure, like so many have before me, I will always remember and cherish the life I've had living in a military community.