New Episode! Today, I got inspired to talk about my childhood as a military kid and how it impacts how I see the world. My father served in the US Army for 29.5 years and his father for 6ish I believe. I have countless cousins and family members—many of whom served as well. I’m torn because the more I live and read and study, the more jaded I become of the country I once loved with no abandon. Now, I give my country the side eye and am pretty mouthy about injustice and whiteness.
I met a beautiful family from Kosovo who shared their beach blanket and snacks with me on the beach in Montenegro. It was one of my favorite travel moments because it was shrouded in the ordinary, but forever deeply impactful. A simple conversation in broken English literally meant the world to me and assuaged moments of little Jenaya years where I was devastated that my dad wasn’t like other dads who were always there for the daughters. Mine was off fighting and supporting distant lands that I saw on a map posted on my childhood bedroom wall.
Happy Veterans Day to all who have served, lost their lives, and missed out on soccer games and piano recitals. To the moms and dads and partners of soldiers who are the silent heroes who had to be two parents like my mom, thanks.