You would think that asking a girl where she’s from is a pretty innocuous question with three possible variations on the answer (e.g. “Lincoln”, “Nebraska” or “Lincoln, Nebraska”). However, I am from the nomadic tribe known commonly as “military brats” and the simple answer to that question continues to escape me. It usually starts off with, “well, I grew up in the Army, so I’ve lived all over the place.” Then comes the recitation of cities, states and countries that I have been blessed to call home. I’ve attempted to come up with a more direct answer. My parents currently reside in Maryland, but I never have, so I’m not from there. I most recently lived in D.C., but have nothing but old tax returns to lay claim. I’m currently in graduate school, which is almost the epitome of temporary living, I’m not from here. Where is home? Let me tell you.
“Home” is an amazing collection of parents, siblings and friends. It’s the place where I always feel safe, like somehow everything is going to be perfectly as it should be in the end. Home is where it’s okay to cry, but it usually ends in laughter. Home is where relationships are always more important than things. In my home, sharing is de rigueur and if I can’t find anything to wear there are three or four more closets I can check. Home is where there are always extra people sitting down for dinner and where the food is always better than any restaurant.
I am from the place that loves this country dearly, and where we have laid many sacrifices in its defense. I am from the place where we are expected to learn every day and to never walk away from a problem unsolved. Where I am from, hard work is just how you do things and everyone is expected to pitch in. I come from miles of road, hours of service, millions of psi of hugs, love and the occasional karaoke night. That’s where I’m from. And it’s pretty awesome.