All military brats are eventually faced with a tough decision - to join or not to join. To carry on the family tradition or pave their own way in the civilian world. Many military brats become military service members themselves; some marry into the military. And then there are the others. I'm part of the others, the part who chose to go it alone. I am a civilian.
My entire family is spread throughout the U.S. and somehow we get by just fine. As a military brat, I have become accustomed to only seeing my family once or twice a year. I have learned to deal with the separation, in good times and in bad, with the understanding that our family can never have a sense of normal - we have a normal, it's just a military normal.
This situation has allowed me to form a solid wall of strength and independence. It has also allowed me to fully appreciate the people I love who are closest around me, and even those who aren't.
I feel that through the years, I've built an invisible support system across the nation. Best friends in all areas - east coast, west coast, south and the north. Where it snows often. Where the sun rarely ceases to shine. Some military brats, some civilians who have adapted to my unique lifestyle.
Most recently, I've come to an unexpected roadblock in my life. It is during these times when I feel my friends and family are the closest to me, though their physical location is remarkably distant. They have an amazing way of making me feel like they're with me when I need it the most. When the pin drops, they come out of the woodwork.
I'm so fortunate to have the invisible string of support, those who won't hesitate to shout my name from the rooftops, those who never question my character and those who are a constant reminder of a brighter tomorrow.
While one of my life's adventures have ended, I have no doubt that I'll find another. Another adventure that is sure to lead to even better things. Another adventure that will continue to teach me life lessons and shape the very fiber of my being. And I have no doubt that my invisible string of support will be on board for the ride.